The amount of work the staff at St. Louise Regional Hospital puts in 24/7 is exhausting, to say the least, but those on the front lines know how critical their role is during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, the first responders, doctors, nurses, support staff and lab technicians don’t have to do it on an empty stomach.
Dutchman’s Pizza in Gilroy, along with the Slice delivery service, has made six deliveries totaling 60 large pizzas over the last two weeks to the hospital, covering every shift, day and night. That amounts to about 500 slices, said Jim Shuster, who owns the 6940 Automall Parkway pizzeria with his wife Marisa. The business has also donated pizzas to hungry staff at De Paul Health Center in Morgan Hill.
On a recent afternoon interview, Shuster said he and his staff were gearing up for a midnight delivery to the hospital.
Such community service is in the restaurant’s DNA.
The Shusters have owned Dutchman’s for 16 years, making them the longest-tenured owners of the 40-year-old restaurant, Jim Shuster said. The pizzeria consistently holds fundraisers for various community efforts, and during Christmas last year, it treated 20 families who didn’t have the means to celebrate with presents and pizza.
“That’s all we do; we take care of the community,” he said. “When there’s a need, we are the first ones to step up.”
But like all businesses during the shelter-in-place order, Dutchman’s has seen an economic downturn, Shuster said, who estimates the pizzeria to be down 25-30 percent. As a result, its staff of five has had its hours reduced.
Dutchman’s remains open for take-out and delivery for those stuck at home in need of their pizza fix. For information, visit gilroydutchmans.com.