Pandemic generosity: restaurateurs give back with pizza

In troubled times, one restaurant is determined to give back to its community. The pizzeria paying it forward…

In troubled times, one restaurant is determined to give back to its community.

The pizzeria paying it forward is The Slice in Rancho Mirage, California, run by business partners Jack Srebnik and Ellen Spencer.

The Slice has been open in Rancho Mirage since 2008. It is one of three total iterations of the restaurant: there’s another in Santa Monica and one in Palm Desert, too. The small chain may be California-based, but the pizzerias are New York style.

Srebnik and Spencer are also the proprietors behind the two locations of Maracas Mexican Cantina & Grill—in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs—along with JT’s Diner, located in Palm Desert. The pair’s business history has a solid foundation.

About meeting the pair, The Desert Sun’s Carole Stephen-Smith wrote that “the camaraderie these two share, along with their passion for business, is still evident as they explain how much it means to them to give back to the community, which they feel has been very good to them.”

Outside of the restaurant business, both Srebnik and Spencer have had pasts and presents that set them up with a way to go forward when things got tough.

Srebnik is active in his Rancho Mirage community as a member—and a former president—of the Chamber of Commerce. In October 2020, he will chair an event called A Few Good Men and 2 Distinguished Women: a ceremony honoring community members are supporting the Ronald McDonald House.

Spencer, for her part, used to be an Ohio parole officer, and “she credits the strength she found during those years to the resiliency she has now to see this pandemic through to the end while managing to help others who are less fortunate.”

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been tough for restaurants everywhere, but the City of Rancho Mirage awarded The Slice an $8000 grant.

So, they stayed open with fourteen staff members and started to pay it forward with pizzas (and burritos!).

They’re feeding those in their community most affected by the novel coronavirus:

Every Monday, Srebnik and Spencer donate 20 pizzas to nurses at Eisenhower Health, and on Thursday they deliver 80 burritos to the facility. And on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they distribute 50-70 pizzas throughout the Coachella Valley as part of their Great Plates program for seniors.

Desert Sun

They didn’t stop there:

They also go to Indio to donate pizzas to FIND Food Bank. And when they heard the National Guard was there to deliver groceries to the less fortunate, Srebnik and Spencer decided to feed the guard members as well.

Desert Sun

Srebnik and Spencer carefully implemented safety guidelines within their own restaurants so when they are feeding their guests, the guests only have to be concerned with “what they are going to order.”

Regarding their generosity, Srebnik’s motto is simple:

You have to give in order to receive.

Jack Srebnik

Article Source: The Desert Sun

Featured Image Source: Carole Stephen-Smith

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