Chef doubles down on commitment to community

Posted at 6:50 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 00:29:50-04

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The restaurant industry is just one of many that has had to adapt during these uncertain times, and there’s one local chef on a mission to find the good despite everyone’s struggles.

Chef Jenna Arcidiacono of Amore is known around West Michigan for spreading joy: her pink hair, flashy outfits, permanent smile, and a heart made to give.

“My biggest thing is to bring positivity every day,” she said, “because maybe it will help someone feel a little better when they’re feeling down.”

Chef Jenna and staff keep giving

Chef Jenna admits handling the stress hasn’t been easy: trying to figure out a system that would work for their restaurant with curb side pickup while keeping health and safety a priority. She says every employee gets their temperature taken before they enter the building while being required to wear masks and gloves while they work.

Despite these changes, Jenna and her staff are on a mission to spread happiness when people need it most, and it's happening in incredible ways.

“There’s nothing that makes me happier than feeding people ... and maybe surprising them when they don’t know it’s coming their way,” she said. “It’s just kind of my love language, and I would much rather give than receive."

Chef Jenna and staff keep giving

“This has just kind of given us an opportunity and our staff and the restaurant as whole to give back to our community.”

And that is exactly what they have done, by feeding people on the front lines, every day. That includes healthcare workers, mental health institutions, dispatchers, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, hospice nurses, the list goes on.

“It’s been a lot of really beautiful stories in the crazy sad times,” Jenna noted. “We’ve been trying to find beauty in every day, and it's happening, and we feel pretty blessed that we've had that.”

Chef Jenna and staff keep giving

“We have donors giving us money -- large amounts of money -- to continue to do this every single day. We all have our days. Last week, it was me. So, if we all can reach out and say, We’re going to get through this, what can I do? Don’t even ask, just do something for them. That’s really going to make a difference in how we’re going get through this as a community.”

Chef Jenna has also been busy working on something for Easter along with several other businesses. She has teamed up with i understand, and they have received enough donations to feed 50 families.

If you know a family or someone who could use help, you can nominate them by emailing You must be able to pick up on Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m.

Chef Jenna and staff keep giving
Chef Jenna and staff keep giving
Chef Jenna and staff keep giving

The Rebound West Michigan: Resources
Arbor Financial Credit Union (sponsor) Forest View Hospital (sponsor) Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (Michigan) Choose Michigan Farmer Relief Fund Going Pro in Michigan Grand Rapids Chamber Rapid Response Fund Local First Michigan Apprenticeships Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives Michigan Career Events Calender Michigan Career Explorer Michigan COVID-19 Mobility Solutions Grant Michigan Department of Treasury Michigan Economic Development Corporation Michigan Emergency Relief Fund nonprofit and cultural grants Michigan Labor Education and Training Michigan Northern Initiatives business loan Michigan Pathfinder student career planner Michigan PPE procurement and donation Michigan Rehabilitation Services Michigan Small Business Development Center Michigan Small Business Relief Program Michigan Strategic Fund Awardee Relief Initiative Michigan Tech Startup Stabilization Fund Michigan Training Connect Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Employee FAQs Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Employer FAQs Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Toolkit for Claimants Michigan Veterans' Employment Services Michigan Works! Association Michigan Workforce Development Michigan Youth Employment Pure Michigan Talent Connect The Right Place Urban League of West Michigan U.S. Small Business Administration Michigan District Offices West Michigan Asian American Association