[UPDATE 4.9.20]: To date, these campaigns have raised more than $171,000 to support the employees at these restaurants. And in a pair of campaigns to both support workers AND feed first responders, Feed the Frontlines has raised more than $27k and BOL’s Pay It Forward Meals has raised more than $7,600. Keep going Mill Valley!
For Piazza D’Angelo co-owners Felicia Ferguson and Luigi Petrone, it was the most difficult decision they’ve ever made.
Forced to move to takeout and delivery service only to comply with the countywide, and now statewide shelter in place order to force social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they saw their business dwindling to unsustainable levels, all while their concern for the health of their remaining employees grew.
In a note to their customers. Ferguson and Petrone announced over the weekend that they were shutting down he restaurant temporarily “leaving our 70+ employees without income to sustain themselves through these difficult times. While we would love to have kept every single person on, we simply can’t afford to do so.”
“We grew up at Piazza D’Angelo, the restaurant our fathers started 39 years ago. When we say our staff is like family, we literally mean it; many who still work here today remember watching us grow up. These amazing people have contributed greatly to the restaurants’ success and continued to support us when we took over the business several years ago.”
“We can’t wait to raise a glass with you in our restaurant when this is all over,” the pair wrote. “We look forward to serving this wonderful community for another 40 years and more.”
A few doors down, Vasco owner Paul Lazzareschi was equally concerned with the fate of his employees, and he’s done the same, creating a GoFundMe campaign, with 100 percent of donations “going directly to the working staff that find themselves without jobs or income. We are nothing without the servers, bartenders, cooks, hosts, and team that come to work day in and day out to make our customers experience the best it can be. We have paid what we can to our team but as you know, business has come to a complete halt. We ask you, the community and loyal customers, to help support our staff in their time of need. Anything you can donate will be helpful. Thank you for all of your continued support and we can’t wait to see you when our doors open again.” DONATE TO VASCO’S EMPLOYEE RELIEF FUND HERE.
Flour Craft Bakery
From Flour Craft Bakery co-owners Heather Hardcastle and Rick Perko: “To say last week was really hard is such a drastic understatement. In addition to closing our San Anselmo store, we were faced with the gut-wrenching burden of laying off nearly our entire staff. Our 25-person team comes from our direct Marin community, many of whom are immigrants and/or the sole providers for their families. These hardworking, honest people cannot ‘work from home’ like so many others and there are simply no other jobs for them to go out and find right now. Our entire restaurant industry has been decimated.
To help alleviate their burden, we’ve set up a Go Fund Me page for our staff where we will match any donations up to $2,000. 100 percent of all contributions will go directly to our team. Please give what you can to help us provide the basic necessities for our wonderful work family during this very difficult time. We SO appreciate your support of Flour Craft.” DONATE TO FLOUR CRAFT BAKERY’S GOFUNDME.
The Buckeye Roadhouse has been working for decades to create a home away from home for our guests. We now need you. We have over 100 dedicated, loyal employees who are left without a job or income. We are calling on our community whom we need now more than ever. Please help our Buckeye Family as they have so graciously served this amazing community for so many years. DONATE TO BUCKEYE ROADHOUSE’S GOFUNDME.
From Bungalow 44 General Manager Jason Sims: “Our loyal staff at Bungalow 44 has created the warm, welcoming, fun atmosphere that has made us a Mill Valley staple for 15 years. During these tough times, dozens have been left with no job and no income. Any and all help from our community would make a huge difference. If you are able, please help our Bungalow 44 family, as they have graciously served this community with pride for so long. We truly appreciate all of your support. We miss you all and can’t wait to all be together again soon. DONATE TO BUNGALOW 44’S GOFUNDME.
From The Cantina General Manager Jackie Jacobs: “The Cantina has served Mill Valley for almost 40 years. We have celebrated your special events from birthdays and graduations to team gatherings and are grateful for the support of the Mill Valley community. We are also grateful for our staff of 50 loyal employees, some of whom have been part of the Cantina family for decades. Unfortunately due to current conditions, these dedicated employees now suddenly find themselves without income for an uncertain period of time. Please consider showing your appreciation and giving your support to these outstanding Cantina employees by donating to The Cantina Employee Fund. Thank you for caring! DONATE TO THE CANTINA’S GOFUNDME.
Sweetwater Music Hall & Cafe
From the partners behind Sweetwater Music Hall: “On Friday, March 13, Sweetwater announced that they would close their doors until further notice in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This has put our staff in a very hard financial position. Sweetwater loves being the community hub for the town of Mill Valley – and our staff love helping to bring joy to our community. We can’t wait to open our doors back up and resume doing so! We have a tight knit team of very loyal staff members. Many have worked at Sweetwater for five years or more. Through our time together, we’ve truly become a family. We recognize that this is a very challenging time for so many. If there’s anything you can do to support our Sweetwater family, it’d be so appreciated. Every dollar helps. Whatever you can give, we’d distribute evenly amongst our Sweetwater staff. We have a staff of more than 50 – ranging from bartenders, security, sound engineers, kitchen staff, servers, box office & more. There are many that make our wheels go round! Whatever we raise, we will divide up evenly amongst those in financial need. DONATE TO THE SWEETWATER’S INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN HERE.
From Ann and The Aversa Family – Maria, Tino, Lucia, Fabio and families: Dear Friends and Family, We hope you and your families are well. We are creating a Go Fund Me page for our employees at La Ginestra restaurant during this crisis. We would appreciate it if you took a moment to check out our GoFundMe campaign.
Your support would mean a lot to us. Please share this email with anyone you think could help us out. Thank you so much!
From the Higgins family: “Floodwater joined this great community less than four months ago. Our loyal staff at Floodwater have worked so hard to establish the warm, welcoming, fun atmosphere that is here for Marin County. Unfortunately, these tough times have left all of our hourly employees without a job or an income. Any and all help from our community would make a huge difference. If you are able, please help our Floodwater family, as there is nothing more we want than to be able to continue the good times once this is all over. We truly appreciate all of your support. We miss you all and can’t wait to all be together again soon.” GO HERE TO DONATE TO FLOODWATER’S GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN.
Vanessa Higgins and the Playa team: “We are so thankful for you, our Playa community who have supported us throughout the years and whom we consider family. With the mandatory closure of restaurants due to the California COVID-19 Shelter in Place laws, we are left with over 60+ dedicated, loyal employees who are unable to sustain themselves throughout these difficult times. We are raising funds here in the hope that we can come together to help our staff and their families who are in dire need of your financial assistance while our restaurant remains closed. Any amount will be welcomed and we thank you in advance for your generosity and thoughtfulness. If you would like to help us in other ways, please consider buying Playa gift cards or ordering batches of our kick-ass margaritas and/or mouth watering tacos for pick-up or delivery, and if not for yourself, donating them to our very deserving healthcare workers. Stay healthy, happy and grateful. DONATE TO THE PLAYA EMPLOYEE RELIEF FUND HERE.
Equator Coffees: “Missing your favorite Barista? Send them a tip to let them know you are thinking about them. In response to the covid-19 pandemic, we took early action and closed our cafes. Protecting the health of our teams and their families is our number one priority. We are taking things day by day and eagerly await the time when we can host you for a cup of coffee again. We have directed our barista staff to all available support and benefits and are keeping them on Equator’s health insurance. To support our baristas who are not working, and have lost a significant portion of their income, we are accepting virtual tips. Your donation will be split equally between hourly baristas and shift leaders who are unable to work or have lost hours due to our stores being closed. Any amount is appreciated. We miss the smiling faces of our cafe regulars, and we know you are missing your baristas. Making coffee is a joyful act, we know that stopping by for a drink can brighten an entire day. We pride ourselves on creating a welcoming community environment at every location. Things are changing rapidly, but we plan to have our cafes up and running again as soon as we can safely do so. Thank you for supporting our team until they are able to make you your favorite drink again. DONATE HERE TO THE EQUATOR BARISTA VIRTUAL TIP JAR VIA GOFUNDME.
From Tamalpie General Manager Emma Si Nae: “As a neighborhood restaurant, our staff has helped Mill Valley celebrate birthdays and holidays, nights in and out since 2011. Many of you have grown up with our staff and vice versa. I have been so, so proud of our incredible team and have felt incredibly fortunate to have known all of them. Unfortunately, the recent disruption of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place orders that it’s prompted have been a harsh blow for the restaurant that has provided so many of us with a living and a community. Unfortunately, while many here in Marin are able to work from home, those in the restaurant industry have to show up to get paid. Although we have remained open, we’ve had to let most of our valued staff members go. Many of them have worked for us for years and years and all of them were treasured members of our team. If we’re able to raise $20,000, that would essentially give our staff two weeks’ worth of earnings and will make a huge difference in their ability to weather this time. GO HERE TO DONATE TO TAMALPIE’S GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN.
Lighthouse Bar & Grill
Manager Kenneth Andresen: “This GoFundMe will go directly to the staff of the Lighthouse Restaurants to help them with their rent, groceries & bills. Our goal is to raise enough money to provide them with the help they need during this difficult time. I know this will mean a lot to them as they rely on their jobs and the support from this will truly help them a lot, it will also mean coming together to help a great cause. So hopefully we can all come back and provide the usual great service for you all when we are allowed to reopen. Thank you and be safe and stay calm.”
From Gabriel Leis: “The Joe’s Taco Family needs your help. We are so grateful to you for all the take-out orders these past 2 weeks – those orders are keeping our doors open. However, more than half of our staff has been laid off with no recourse or opportunity for alternate employment during this period. It breaks my heart, but at our reduced volume, I cannot keep everyone employed. We know these are extraordinary and difficult time for everyone, including many of you. And we know this isn’t the first plea of this sort that many of you will have received. For nearly 30 years, Joe’s Taco Lounge has survived and thrived as a part of this community. Our employees have created, prepared, and cooked your meals, befriended you and your kids, and brought smiles to your faces during your dining experiences at Joe’s. Our employees have an average tenure of over 17 years employment here, and we believe that’s a large part of our success and the experience we are able to provide to our diners. Nobody owes them more than Marni and I do, but we’re in unprecedented times and the need is greater than what we can provide on our own. If you are able and willing, I’m asking for your generosity to help our staff. Please, if you can, GIVE. The money will be distributed equitably amongst our employees to help bridge the gap until we are able to rehire every single one of our beloved team members. GO HERE TO DONATE TO JOE’S TACO LOUNGE’S GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN.
Feed the Frontlines: A New Twist on the Funding Model for Watershed, Shoreline & Juice Girl