The Caiazzo family knew they wanted to help those who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, and decided the best way to do so was to deliver free pretzels to community members every Friday.
“I know that everyone’s having their ups and downs,” Franklin Square Philly Pretzel Factory co-owner Joe Caiazzo explained. “It hits everyone’s hearts.”
When the pandemic began, he said, they wanted to thank health care workers. His mother is a nurse, he noted, as is co-owner Debbie Smith.
So, on April 11, they posted a video on social media telling health care workers they could just walk up to the store on Franklin Avenue, tell the clerk they work in the health care industry and get a free pretzel, no purchase necessary.
“Every day, health care workers leave their families to take care of ours, and we are so grateful,” Manager Michael Caiazzo said in the video, adding that giving them free pretzels is “the least we can do for all the sacrifices you guys are making.”
But the Caiazzos also wanted to do more for community members who are struggling during this tough time, and decided to create Free Pretzel Fridays. It started last week, with them delivering pretzels to 200 Franklin Square residents who called the store with their address, and now they are holding social media polls every week, in which people can vote to get free deliveries in their hometown.
On May 8, they were delivering them to Valley Stream residents, and by 11:30 a.m., Michael said, they had already received close to 40 calls. And, Joe said, “the phone’s have been lighting up all morning,” and they even had to add another phone line.
“Everybody’s so nice,” Michael said.“They’re very sweet and very understanding.”
Now, they plan on treating residents in neighboring communities — such as Malverne, West Hempstead and Garden City South — and plan on delivering them to Floral Park residents next week.
“We’re having a lot of fun,” Michael said, “and I’m glad everyone’s enjoying it.”
To place an order for three free pretzels to be delivered to your house, simply call the store on the Friday the Pretzel Factory will be in your neighborhood at (516) 407 - 3300. No purchases are necessary.