WEST MILFORD If you ask Lorraine Covello, owner of Macopin Pizza, how many pies shes made over the years, she has no answer other than Too many to keep track of. Thats easy to understand, especially if you consider just the 65 pies Covello makes for Apshawa School every Friday. And she makes them all in two hours time.
Covello, 52, has been in the pizza business since 1983. First known as Tonys Place, she and her husband, Anthony, started their fledgling business and their family around the same time.
Married for 30 years, the couple has two daughters, Rosemarie, 28, and Laura, 26. Old-time customers may remember the playpen set by the back tables and the toddlers, always seemingly quite content. Today Rosemarie is in the business world but is always ready to help her mom. Laura manages the business with her mother.
They learned a lot growing up in the store, Covello said.
Working an average of 70 hours a week, Covello serves up lunch and dinner, mostly take-out, and pizza of course. Shes come a long way since 1983 when the doors first opened and she began learning how to cook.
Being in business for almost 30 years has entrenched Covello in the township and the community has benefited greatly from her generosity when it comes to fund raising and special events.
Personally, Id rather give back to the community to show our appreciation for their support. Instead of putting money into advertising Id rather give it back, she said.
She donates gift certificates and often gives 20 percent of the nights proceeds to various groups such as Eagle Scouts, school programs and events, sports clubs, families in need, churches and fire companies, to name a few.
When shes handling a big event the whole family comes in to help out. And now Laura is getting more heavily involved with fund raising for different organizations.
My mom taught me to give. From watching her do the pizza fund raising I decided I wanted to do my own thing, she said.
Two years ago she organized a pizza eating contest for all township emergency workers. The winning team received $1,000 and each team who participated received $100. All prize money was donated to the fire companies Burn Out Fund.
Im trying to give back to the people who volunteer for us, Laura said.
This year she is running a large vendor sale to benefit both the Relay for Life of the Highlands, to be held June 9 and 10, and the West Milford police and fire departments Saint Baldricks Foundation event on June 10. Lauras event will take place at the Macopin Firehouse on April 15, at which time orders may be placed for the merchandise.
On a day to day basis at Macopin Pizza, Covello keeps her customers happy with good food, generous portions and free garlic knots or zeppolis with a minimum purchase. But its her generosity that seemingly defines her.
Steve Pellington, chief at West Milford Fire Co. #4, has nothing but high praise for Covello, citing her support and fund raising for the fire services in town.
She has helped us out on repasts, department functions, parades, all our activities, he said. She even keeps the store open late if the men are out on a night call, ready to feed the hungry emergency workers when their task in completed.
Sister Janet Brisky of St. Joseph Church has been on the receiving end of Covellos philanthropy for many years. Shes seen both Macopin Pizzas catering of church events and the many fund raising efforts originating at the store.
Shes just so very generous, when she caters an event she always gives more than enough, Sister Janet said. When the sister brought in diners from a local group home for special needs people, Covello didnt want to charge them at all.
Perhaps Covellos contented smile and calm demeanor demonstrates what giving can do for the soul.
Upcoming Pizza Night Fund Raisers – 20 percent of proceeds to organization
Saint Baldricks Event – second Tuesday of the month until June.
Relay for Life of the Highlands – first Thursday of the month until June.
Apshawa School sixth grade – third Wednesday of the month until June
West Milford High School Baseball – April 17.
Macopin Pizza 707 Macopin Road
West Milford 973-697-0224 Lauras Vendor Sale
To benefit St. Baldricks event and Relay for Life
Vendors: Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, Cookie Lee, Miche Handbags, Mary Kay, Jamberry and ScrapMan Mike who buys gold and silver.
April 15, from noon to 5 p.m. Macopin Firehouse
1362 Macopin Road (Black Sheep Lane), West Milford, NJ
For information email email@example.com