For longtime Long Valley residents, many have a sense of pride about the community in which they live.
Two of those residents are Bob and Heidi Prudente, owners of Bob’s Long Valley Pizza and Deli. The couple has so much pride in their town, in fact, they want to give back in a very public way.
Back in 2008, Bob Prudente–a staple at the eatery just about any time or day of the week–started Bob’s Bailout program. Under the promotion, a consumer could order one large pizza with a topping, and receive a second plain pizza for just $3.
“The bailout idea was supposed to last a month,” Prudente said. “It ended up going on for four years.”
The deal became so popular, Prudente said, that when the restaurant ended the promotion just after Hurricane Sandy, customers grew upset with the owners.
“People love that deal,” Heidi Prudente said. “We kept telling them (after Sandy) it will be back in a month; just hold on.”
Instead, during the month of December, if a customer brought in a canned good to donate to the Washington Township Food Pantry, Bob’s would take a dollar off the order price.
Now, in its latest iteration–the basis of the Long Valley Pride effort–the promotion will be similar, but this time will benefit non-profit organizations in Washington Township. When a consumer purchases a one-topping pizza, they’ll get the second plain pizza for $5–this time, however, $2 of that will go directly toward a non-profit of the month chosen by the Prudentes.
“The idea is to get people involved, spread the word and help each other,” said Bob Prudente, a former township firefighter. “(Volunteers) are really special people who are helping out everyone in this town. We’re so busy and can’t volunteer ourselves, so we figured this would be our way of giving back to them.”
The Long Valley First Aid Squad will be the recipient of the promotion’s first go-around in January, and the total amount donated will be posted on the new website at www.longvalleypride.com.
Prudente tries to stay as local as possible and support the community he grew up in when it comes to the food, including tomatoes for his pizza sauce from Ort Farms, hot sauce from Harvey’s Revenge, soda from Wild Bill’s and coffee distributed by a local manufacturer.
Prudente said he’s hoping the promotion will catch on and other local businesses will start up their own deals or forms of philanthropic efforts.
“If everyone in town could help a little bit,” Prudente said, “we would just be helping ourselves in town and the volunteers.”
The promotion is currently available through the end of the month. Bob’s has yet to release the organization that will be the benefactor of February’s promotion.