Over the last few weeks, since this pandemic first really started affecting those within our local community, 20-year Lani Kai bartender and bar manager Val Puccia has been sure to have her husband Larry (Lani Kai GM who’s also an extremely talented, lifelong chef) make dozens upon dozens of his famous, large, hand-tossed pizzas to be hand-delivered to various hospital staff, medical workers and first responders around town.
We know the medical staff and first responders are putting so much on the line to help keep our community safe and healthy, they’re usually not thinking about stopping to take a break for a tasty treat.
This dynamic duo has created the sweetest ritual between the two during this downtime in one of our Lani Kai kitchens: Larry making his ever-popular pizzas (with all fresh, local ingredients and his mother’s passed-down marinara recipe), and Val then hand delivering them to those on the local frontlines of this pandemic, the boxes always topped with kind, hand-written notes of encouragement and appreciation.
So far, these sweet pizza elves have hand-delivered during different days and shifts to staff of the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Health Park Emergency room, Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, and the Lee Co. Sheriff’s office sub-station on Fort Myers Beach. Typically whipping up these tasty treats at least a couple days each and every week, you don’t know where Val will bring these pies of gratitude next!
“I just love people and always want to help,” Val said.
GM Larry, along with head chef Pedro Tejeda, also recently hosted a very special Easter dinner feast for Lani Kai staff and their families at the hotel, serving hundreds of meals in To-Go containers so staff could safely pick up and enjoy at home with their family and loved ones Easter Sunday.