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D'Alesio's Wood-Fire Pizza struggles to stay open through pandemic

Posted at 5:15 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 17:50:30-05

KENT ISLAND, Md. — D'Alesio's Wood-Fire Pizza opened in June of 2017 on Kent Island. Things were going gang busters the first two months and then a tornado hit Kent island in August.

That slowed business for about 8 months and things picked back up. Then the Bay Bridge construction started and the debilitating backups on the Island made it impossible for anyone to get to his business at all, that wasn't a slow down, that was a shut down. Then, the pandemic hit.

It actually boasted their sales.

That's because about 75 to 80 percent of their business was carry out. Cronin believes a big influence on that was the stimulus checks. After that sales slowly declined as the pandemic set it. Things were looking real tough and then thoughts at night crept into his head.

That wasn't an option. Even though they went from a dozen or so employees down to four, Cronin felt committed to them as well as his new business. So it was full steam ahead in very rough waters, some days are OK, some days are abysmal.

"You used to be able to predict patterns. Now, it's just everyday you just don't know," he said.

Since this pandemic began, the economic impact here at D'Alesio's had been significant, they're making less money and they have o spend more.

" It's not good that's why it's month to month. That's why we don't know what we are going to be doing next month," he explained.

His food is fresh and not processed, that is more labor intensive. The fires are burning hot in these ovens, between the ovens and the pressure barring down from the virus, this kitchen is hot. He can't stand that heat but Cronin can't "get out of the kitchen". He must continue to fight for his business before the fire goes out.