DETROIT – A longtime Detroit pizza delivery man came up with an idea to keep his employees working and the people on the front lines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) battle fed during the pandemic.
John Grossi, of Amicci’s Pizza, is a staple in the community. His family has been in the Detroit pizza business for decades, and now he’s delivering to front line heroes.
UPDATE -- May 11, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 47,552; Death toll now at 4,584
“I originally started a meat, cheese pizza -- Verner West Grand Boulevard -- right after I got out of high school in 1981," Grossi said. “It was like the year after I graduated. Another one I opened in Hamtramck in 1985. ... We’ve been in business through thick and thin for a very long time.”
His loyal customers were worried about what the crisis would do to the business and its employees.
“Everyone wants to help, and, you know, we’re not heroes on the front lines, but there’s no reason why we can’t try and get to them," Grossi said.
He asked family members, friends and customers if they wanted to help contribute to a pizza fund.
“We’ve collected quite a bit of money in a short period of time,” Grossi said.
Gross matches every contribution that comes in with pizza delivered to front line workers in Detroit hospitals.
“It was kind of surprising because we just started off with somebody giving us $100, and somebody gave us, $250, then, a bunch of donations came in, and that suddenly was up to about $1,700 in donations, and just a couple of weeks without really even reaching out and trying to get donations," Grossi said. "So, well, that (was) put towards pizza.”
Donations poured in from across Metro Detroit, and soon, delivery drivers from Amicci’s were taking out hundreds of pizzas per day.
“We’re just trying to help the people that are doing the hard work, the heavy lifting or, you know, just doing our little bit to help,” Grossi said.
He said it’s about putting the needs of others before your owns.
“There’s lots of ways to help out, and a lot of people are really struggling and they can’t help out," Grossi said. "That’s understandable, too. But if you’re lucky enough to be in a spot you can help and contribute. There’s lots of ways to do it.”
So far the company has delivered nearly 1,000 pizzas to Detroit Receiving Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital and Sinai-Grace.
Grossi said as long as the community support continues, the pizzas will be delivered.