Port Authority Sgt. Brian Vitale knew one thing about Vaccaro’s Bakery before the coronavirus pandemic — it had provided much-appreciated treats on the house to him and other cops working holidays at LaGuardia Airport.
So when he learned that the New Jersey mainstay — owned by rookie PAPD Officer Jessica Vaccaro’s family — was struggling to survive during the virus’ onslaught, he jumped into action, collecting enough dough, about $4,500, to try to ease at least some of the burden.
“Now they may be able to pay their rent or employees for a month or two,” Vitale, 41, told The Post.
Vaccaro’s Bakery has been in business since 1954, starting with a spot in Colonia before setting up shop 20 years later in Clark, where residents still flock to it for its black and white cookies and crumb cakes.
But when the pandemic forced people indoors and required businesses to close for dine-in service, the bakery took a hit and was struggling to stay open.
“It’s not looking good,” Vaccaro told Vitale at one point when he asked how the coronavirus had affected her aunt and uncle’s business.
“I don’t know if they’re going to be able to survive this … if we don’t get back to normalcy anytime soon,” the rookie cop told him. “They are losing a lot of money.”
Vitale said it was “sad” to imagine that such a longstanding business might not survive the outbreak, so he teamed up with a few colleagues — Sgt. John Garrone and Officers Anthony Espinal, Rony Moran and Thomas Guarnieri — to ask for money from the more than 200 cops assigned to the airport, collecting whatever they could afford.
“Everybody was willing to give without a second thought. Some guys gave $100,” said Vitale, a 14-year department veteran.
When the cops sent the money to the bakery’s owners Tuesday, they were “blown away,” Vitale recalled.
“Thank you … is not enough,” owners Vinny and Eileen Vaccaro wrote in a letter to the officers who helped. “There are not enough thank yous in this world that could come close to how I feel.”
The bakery said it eventually decided to temporarily close its doors to keep customers and staff safe, but plans to reopen as soon as the outbreak passes.
Source: Thanks https://nypost.com/2020/04/10/port-authority-cop-raises-money-for-nj-bakery-amid-covid-19/