It is arguable that small businesses, including Francesca Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. However, the pandemic has shown us that difficult times bring out the best in people.
As people are forced to social distance themselves, the restaurant business has been down as only pick up and delivery is currently allowed. Francesca has been trying to stay as clean as it is humanly possible.
The restaurant is being cleaned approximately every fifteen minutes, gloves are changed after every single delivery, and pickup has moved to the front door to avoid customers entering.
Although this is very difficult, owner Sal Reina knows that it’s the right thing to do. Reina, who has applied for the Small Businesses Paycheck Protection Program initiated by Congress, is just thankful to even be operating right now.
“So many of my neighbors I look to my left and my right outside the shop. It saddens me very much because a lot of those businesses like the hair salons, barbershops, bookstores are not even allowed to open,” Reina said. “I’m just grateful that we are a pizzeria that typically did a lot of pickup and delivery already, so we are still able to continue that.”
Reina also praised the Glen Rock community for their support of his restaurant in light of the coronavirus. Reina has yet to have been forced to cut any employees or reduce their hours.
As the community has helped Francesca and other small businesses in their time of need, Reina decided to give back in an extraordinary way. In less than two months, Reina has collected and donated 224 cases of gloves, almost a quarter-million, to local hospitals.
Reina’s original intent was to collect and donate just a few cases, but the project blew up after he received a great response from Glen Rock residents on Facebook.
“I can see that the community cares about each other. That just proves that the town is just so strong together and will always stick together like that,” he said.
Reina describes the response he’s gotten from the donation as a ‘top five’ moment in his twelve years spent in Glen Rock.