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Messages of Hope From Fellow Independents – Steve Rouse

October 2019

Messages of Hope From Fellow Independents

My name is Steve Rouse, and I have been the editor of La Trattoria since 1990. All of the stories, other than Tom’s column, are developed by me and the Independent restaurateurs they feature. Getting to know so many creative and driven restaurant families over the years has been the highlight of my career.

During this difficult time, I have been deeply touched by the community care and leadership that so many restaurateurs have demonstrated in recent weeks. By following social media posts, I have developed a better understanding of the daily challenges for restaurants as well as a reminder of the strength and resiliency of restaurateurs.

To quote restaurateur Anthony DeSousa (Anthony’s Real NY Pizza, in Estes Park, CO),

“In the darkest times for a person, it is best to give hope and spread happiness with gestures of love.”

Here are just a few social media posts that particularly touched me:


No questions asked
ANYONE out there who is in need of food, can’t afford groceries, or has young children that need to eat, come see us. We will provide the best we can, no questions asked…Any hospitals that may need food for clinicians on the front lines, DM me or call the shop.
Best Pizza, Williamsburg, NY


Hey Community – keep donating and we’ll keep making pizzas!
This is Chris from Liberty Hall Pizza just dropping off another batch of pizzas at the food pantry. We want to thank the people in our community who have donated. We are about halfway to our goal! Hey community – keep donating and we’ll keep making pizzas!
Liberty Hall Pizza, Lambertville, NJ


Please pass this to any family in need of food
Please pass this to any family in need of food. Thanks to our generous customers, we will be passing out 200 lunches at 11:30 at the middle school on Friday, March 20. Menu: Local RL Valley Roast Beef sandwiches with Kiser’s BBQ or Kindred Market’s Vegan Chicken Sausage Patty sandwiches, Shagbark Milling Potato Chips, Fruit Cocktail, and Red Delicious Apples.
Avalanche Pizza, Athens, OH


There will be shortages
We are aware there will be shortages at grocery stores during these trying times. On top of our normal menu offerings for delivery and carryout, we will be incorporating a limited variety of essential household items (milk, eggs, bread, toiletries, etc.) to our delivery menu. We can get these supplies from our suppliers so you can avoid the grocery store.
Ohio Pizza & Brew, Columbus, OH


It was another good day
It was another good day at Virgil’s Plate. Our Half-Baked Pizza Kits are feeding the people in the safest way we can. Brian sent me this beauty (pizza photo) and it made my day! Thank you very much Brian! Keep your pics coming!!!
Virgil’s Plate, Erie, PA


Keeping the love and pizza flowing
As of today, customers have donated 345 pizzas. With our matching, that equals 690 pizzas donated to surrounding hospitals. Thanks to everyone who has helped us keep the love and pizza flowing! The feedback we are receiving from our fabulous customers is heartwarming and the gratitude that nurses, doctors, etc., have shared keeps us going! It is a team effort and we could not do this without everyone’s participation. #communitystrong
Geraci’s Restaurant, Cleveland, OH


You have provided an amazing beacon of hope
Because of customer gift card purchases over the past few days, we will donate $51,000 directly to our team members to help meet their needs during this uncertain time. You have provided an amazing beacon of hope for all of us. We are so overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity. We look forward to welcoming you back into our restaurants as soon as we can. Thank you!
Sidewall Pizza Co, Travelers Rest, SC


Being kind to each other!
For every five pizzas sold, Bella Familia is donating one pizza to local medical staff. Customers can also personally help by selecting to donate a pizza. We will include your first name on the box of the donation pizza you purchased! Just select that option on our menu. We appreciate everyone supporting small business as well as being kind to each other!
Bella Familia, Rocklin, CA