As the name implies, Amici’s Pizza Café is a place for “amici” (friends in Italian) to gather for a good meal. To owner Craig Valvo, those friends include the community, which is now dealing with the effects of the spread of the coronavirus.
Like other local restaurants, Amici’s sanitation protocols have changed and it has increased its stockpiles of to-go packaging to meet the increased demand for delivery and takeout orders. Volvo is monitoring his employees’ health and communicating with customers on social media. The community has responded by buying gift cards to support Amici’s. One customer bought $600 worth to give out to people in his church.
“Our mission is to serve the community great food with love,” Valvo says. “We’ve been doing that for 12 years, and we want to continue to do that.”
Serving with love means honoring the first responders who are helping the community by offering them free slices of pizza. As a 30-year Coconut Creek resident who has partnered with the police department for community events in the past, such as the department’s Pizza with the Popo community outreach, he wants to be sure to do whatever he can to support them.
“Serving somebody a slice of pizza, no charge, isn’t going to change their life,” Valvo says. “But it’s within our ability to do, and we want to do it.”
Valvo spread the word to the Coconut Creek commissioners and the Coconut Creek Police Department. In the past two days, he’s served around 15 officers. Valvo says it’s given them a chance to talk about what’s going on in their lives.
“None of them are stopping by to get a free $3 slice of pizza. They’re stopping by because they know they’re being recognized,” he says. “And a little snack in the middle of the day doesn’t hurt, either.”
Amici’s is at 4800 W. Hillsboro Blvd, Suite A-17, Coconut Creek. Visit amicispizzeriacafe.com.
Pictured above: Craig Valvo (center) with Creek police officers