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 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."
“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.”
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be able to pick up on Saturday between 1 and 3 p.m.