Let me tell you guys about our experience
By Phil Solorzano
I am so proud of my team, and the hard work we all put in Monday. September 11, following Irma’s pathway through Sarasota, to serve our area in such hard times. The amount of people we took care of was unimaginable. We did it with no power, no electricity, no AC, just a generator, flashlights, candles (donated from our loving customers) and lots of ice from our loving neighbors next door at Monk's Steamer Bar.
I was on the phone all day with my good friend Nick at IL PANIFICIO trying to see if we could use his dough mixer when we ran out of dough. He of course said no problem; as soon as they got their mixers on he would let us know. Nick was dealing with the same problem we had, so we were going to let each other know as soon as one of us got our electricity working again. That's how businesses come together and work together baby.
The electricity never went on, customers kept coming in, and I had to come up with something fast. My brother’s store Solorzano Bros. is closed on Mondays and he let me take all his cheese and dough he already had in his cooler. That was a huge help.
I thought that would last, we were at already over 500 pizzas sold by 3pm, man was I wrong! Channel 7 News, Channel 8 News and the radio had us on the air and people came pouring in the doors. We were at almost a 2 – 3 hour wait time on pizza. We had to make only small pies with one or two toppings, four max per person, just to make sure we could feed everybody.
My manager Kenny said, "Phil, were running out of dough again." I said, "that's impossible we went through 8 batches of dough by 5 pm." I'm running out of dough, no one has electricity to let me use their dough mixer, I got a line around the block, and over 100 ticket orders on the board, what do you do? I start making the dough by hand. Four 50 pound bags of dough rolled by hand, just me for 2 1/2 hours straight, customers were happy, they got hot food and we were able to take care of our community during a time when no one had electricity.
The amount of love and respect that was in the building the whole day is something I will never forget, something positive came out of something so negative, but our community, Sarasota, got through it.