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Oceanside Eatery Opts to Feed the Community

Mangia e Bevi delivers food to the seniors instead of opening the dining room to the public

Oceanside CA— Three years ago Tore Trupiano and Ann Perham had a vision. Their vision was to open a small dine in Italian restaurant. Tore, a veteran in the restaurant industry, and Ann, amazing decorating skills, great customer service and attention to detail starting to make their vision a reality. The focus was to create an authentic Italian dine in restaurant. The emphasis was to artistically plate old world and authentic meals. In early spring we found a spot that was previously an Italian restaurant. It was in the unlikeliest of all places, in the industrial part of el Corazon. Ann quickly saw a diamond in the rough. Intimate patio dining, water fountain and a fireplace. Windows from a house built in the early 1900’s transformed the black steel fence into a Tuscan like setting. The dining room long and narrow, almost like the streets of Palermo. Rich burgundies, golden rod, black, and yellow create the setting along a beautiful wall mural of a map of Europe. Mangia e Bevi quickly won the hearts of local diners and was awarded one of the best from Ranch & Coast magazine.

Fast forward to 2020. Mangia e Bevi had recorded their best month in February. Mangia e Bevi was filling up nightly and Tore and Ann knew they had hit that pivotal point. Mangia had taken off. March started off to be another record month. As the month continued and news reports on Covid-19 were broadcast our customers were becoming concerned. We first noticed that our mature guests had stopped coming in. Then what we feared most happened, it was announced that dining rooms were not to be used. Now what? Mangia was built to be a dine in restaurant. We offered take out and used third party apps to deliver, but that was a small percentage of our business. We saw sales plummet 75% immediately.

In early April we were contacted by the city and asked if we would be interested in providing meals for an assisted living facility and meals to a group of senior citizens. It was exactly what we needed. It was not a huge contract, but it was enough to keep the lights on and my kitchen staff employed. We have grown accustomed to the way we operate, and it is our new “norm”.

On April 24, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a first-in-the-nation “Great Plates Delivered” program, a meal delivery service for California’s older adults.

Great Plates Delivered has two purposes:

Help seniors and other adults at high risk from COVID-19 to stay home and stay healthy by delivering three nutritious meals a day and provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

We anxiously waited to here and learn more about this program. Soon as it was announced that restaurants could sign up, we did exactly that. The state has set strict guidelines and not all restaurants would qualify.

Food provider meals must meet the following nutritional requirements:

• Breakfast: low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams /8 oz. and of fruit juice, must be only 100 percent fruit juice allowed)
• Lunch and dinner: a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable on each dish, and low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams /8 oz. and of fruit juice, must be only 100 percent fruit juice allowed).

Last week we entered phase 2 of reopening the state, in that dining rooms can serve guests.

Our guests keep calling us and asking if we are seating the dining room, and sound so disappointed when we tell them we are not ready yet. Yesterday Tore and Ann published this on social media, “To all our valued customers, we at Mangia e Bevi have decided it is in our best interest to remain a takeout restaurant at this time. We have been contracted by the state and county to feed the most vulnerable and needy during this pandemic. Therefore, we have chosen at this time to focus our resources on this dire need in our community. Also, our business model does not really coincide with the strict mandates of being open for dine in. We have prided ourselves as a small dine in authentic Italian restaurant with an emphasis on the plating art and food aspect of Italian cuisine. It does not make financial sense at this time to make our restaurant 25% capacity and adhere to social distancing practicing as it would be non-profitable for such a small intimate place. We hope you will continue to support us during this uncertain time by ordering take out until the restrictions lax and it makes sense for us business wise. Thank you for your continued support. We will continue to update our customers as we get closer to our reopening date.”
Tore Trupiano and Ann Perham

Our hearts are full, and we know we are doing the right thing. Now when the phone rings it is one of our seniors complimenting us on a job well done, expressing their gratitude, or wanting a customized menu. Our family is now extended 100-fold.

“They are so happy to see us, they want to tell us about their day, their doctor’s visit, how much they love our food” says Tore Trupiano.

“They have gifts for us, I have been gifted 2 bouquets of flowers and a clip to hold my glasses on my blouse.” Ann Perham

“I had a lady ask me to help her program her phone, just like I do for my own grandmother. She wanted company and conversation. While I was there her daughter called and thanked me for helping her mother and was incredibly grateful.” Santina Trupiano.

We will reopen when the time is right, but for now taking care of our community is what is right.
For more information, contact Tore Trupiano at 760-231-1225, tore@mangiaoceanside.com, Ann Perham at ann@mangiaoceanside.com. or visit https://mangiaoceanside.com/

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