Fayetteville restaurant creates DIY meal kits for families during COVID-19

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Small businesses are getting creative during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sammio's Italian Restaurant in Fayetteville has rolled out meal kits to stay relevant to customers.


The idea started when owner Sarah Whiteaker decided to bring ingredients home for her children to make pizza for dinner.

"I thought a lot of other families would enjoy this too. It was nice. They had an activity and it resulted in a meal for them, which was nice for me," said Whiteaker.

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Both she and her husband posted a video of their 8-year-old daughter Gema making pizza to social media and the idea took off.

"I was surprised with how quickly they sold out. We only bought 70 aprons. So we knew what we were aiming to sell," said Whiteaker.

James and Sarah Whiteaker have owned Sammio's Italian Restaurant on Raeford Road for about 12 years.

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With stay-at-home orders in place and no customers in the dining room, they were looking for ways to stay connected.

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"We're down on average anywhere between 40-50 percent a week. It's definitely taken a big hit," said James Whiteaker.

The owners have had to make tough decisions and cut most of their staffers to stay afloat.

They told ABC11 because the pizza kits have gotten so popular, more options could come soon.

"Dessert pizza with cookie dough crust and candles. Chocolate sauce for the sauce," said Whiteaker. "We've thought about do-it-yourself pasta kits with various sizes and ingredients."
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