MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. — Local businesses across West Michigan are relying on their dedicated customers to help get them through this difficult time.
Open since 2016, Mitten Pizza has always valued their community. Located on M-179 in Middleville, they are still serving up food to their loyal customers via pickup and delivery.
“Right when it started to get a bit crazy in Michigan and people started taking it seriously, we noticed an initial drop at like 40-50% and it terrified us as a business,” owner Jamie Zichterman said Thursday.
But following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s "stay home, stay safe" order, Zichterman says business actually went up.
“Our business expanded. We jumped up 30-35% almost immediately,” he told FOX 17.
Despite his customers still eager to get their favorite local pizza pie, they have had to change up the way they operate in order to keep everyone safe.
With the doors to the shop now locked, they have implemented a no-contact pickup system using a front window on the shop.
“So the customer never comes into the restaurant. They pay over the phone, we set the food on a table in front of the pickup window, the customer walks up, grabs it and goes away. We immediately sanitize that table,” Zichterman said.
They are also now offering take-home pizza kits for only $6.
“We have our pre-weighed dough. We put it in a bag, we weigh out the cheese and any toppings they want, then we put a cup of sauce in the box,” Zichterman said. “Everyones probably going a bit crazy with the quarantine, looking for things to do. It’s a cheap, efficient way to not only feed your family and you get an activity out of it as well.”
But they are also trying to give back as much as they can, offering 50 percent off to all truckers and medical professionals.
Because all Michigan schools are shut down right now, Mitten Pizza is also trying to help feed any families struggling with food deficiencies.
Zichterman telling FOX 17 Thursday, “So we made a post that says, hey if you’re a struggling family, shoot us a message. We can’t feed everyone, but we’ll gladly feed a couple families a day.”
He says that people almost immediately started reaching out to donate towards the cause.
“Fifty bucks here, 20 bucks here, 5 bucks here. And I think we’re at 62-ish families now that we’ve been able to feed in the last two weeks and its an awesome feeling,” he said.