Pandemic Story

2020 began just like any other year at Capozzoli Catering.  The first few months of the new year are always a slower time in the catering industry, and it gives our team a chance to recharge their batteries and plan for the upcoming busy season. With early news reports of Covid-19 in China & other countries, we didn’t pay to much attention to it.  On March 16, 2020 that all changed!  We were forced to cease all catering operations and cancel all events for the next two weeks.  Little did we know those two weeks would turn into two plus years. 

Within the first week of shutdown Michael Capozzoli Sr. fell ill.  Early on testing for Covid wasn’t as easy as the process is now.  After trying to fight off “flu like” symptoms for a week at home, we decided it was time to test him for Covid.  Following the test (and not knowing the results) Mike was dropped off at the Taylor Hospital Emergency Room. With no visitors allowed we were left to hope and pray the hospital staff would take great care of him.  Two days later we found out that he did indeed have Covid and we were faced with the horrible reality of having to give permission to place him on a ventilator. Only to make matters worse, his wife Eileen also came down with Covid, however she didn’t require hospitalization. Once Mike was on the ventilator, the Taylor Hospital staff began using everything in their arsenal to keep Mike alive, including untested treatments and experimental drugs. We truly believed Taylor Hospital saved Mike’s life. Once we realized things weren’t improving, we made the decision to transfer him to University of Pennsylvania Hospital.  Once transported the wonderful team at HUP, led by our angel, “Nurse Michelle” began to try everything in their power to get Mike off the ventilator and start to recover.


After fifteen agonizing days, he was finally taken off the ventilator.  Now the real work began. He had to work to regain his cognitive function and his physical strength.  We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task, but he had an army of family and friends behind him.  Once he was well enough, he was then transported to Bryn Mawr Rehab. This was the final leg of his journey.  There, the team of doctors, nurses and physical and occupational therapists began to help Mike over his final hurdles from this awful virus.  After seventy long days in the hospital and rehab we were able to welcome him back to his home on June 3, 2020.  Knowing that Mike was one of the first known cases in Delaware County, we feel blessed that he was able to battle through his illness and come out on the other end unscathed.  We know all to well, many did not, and we pray daily for all of the departed.

All the while through his illness, we were trying to keep our 85-year-old family catering business afloat.  We had to lay off all employees for a while and Michael Jr., Chris and Anthony had to figure a way to keep things going.  We started off just like many other restaurants and caterers did, offering meals to go.  With the love and support of our Ridley and surrounding communities our “Grab & Go” meals took off! We started offering meals twice during the week and a big “Sunday Dinner”.  As we got busier, we were able to bring back more of our staff. 

By June of 2020, we were still limited to hosting events of only 20 people or less, so our ballrooms still sat empty for much of 2020.  However, we kept on going with the “Grab & Go” meals. As time went on, we tried to navigate our way to hosting events during multiple waves of Covid Variants.  We were able to walk the tight rope of social distancing and having parties of more than twenty guests.  After three years, we were nearly back to normal operations. With that being said, we are now living in a different world where food and gas prices are sky high. Staffing continues to be an issue, but we are persevering to work hard to make this now 3rd Generation Catering business a success.  We know many other restaurants and caterers had to close their doors for good during the pandemic, and we are extremely grateful and lucky that we are still operating. 

We know everyone in this country and in the world has been touched by this awful virus.  We just wanted to share our story as a little reminder that things weren’t all bad during the pandemic.

To our supporters, Thank you.