Pick Up The Pizzas @ Joe’s Bronx Little Italy

The new American Nightmare is happening for so many small business owners in the Bronx. Chris Castelan migrated from Mexico 30 years ago and started working for Joe’s Pizza in the Little Italy section of the Bronx. He learned the business the craft and eventually saved enough money to purchase the store from the original owners. Believing in his ability Chris recently invested all of his savings to build a brand new store in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country for his customers and his community. The new opening was rough. Construction was delayed by over nine months forcing him to take on odd jobs until the reopening. He had to sell his home and eventually rented an apartment above the shop to stay close. He finally reopened in November of 2019. The opening was tough but the community supported Chris as he is the nicest guy on the block with the cleanest shop around. So confident he said to me don’t install metal gates on the storefront as I want the people to see what a nice store I built all of the time. This was a real jewel at the dying end of Little Italy. Shortly after the reopening Chris’s delivery driver stole money saved in the store. His driver was later arrested but the money was gone. A month later the store was broken into and the police opted not to arrest the thieves caught on video. Claiming they didn’t have enough evidence nor time to track down. Covid-19 struck and his main customers, visitors, teachers, and Fordham students disappeared. Chris kept on making the pizza for his neighbors until he got sick himself along with his wife and workers. They were forced to close the store for weeks. Chris reopened to a new normal. Barely making enough money each day to cover expenses but he pushed through with the belief that once this is all over he will be the most prepared the win the local pizza wars. Two nights ago those dreams were shattered when local kids took on an easy target. Glass with no protection. They stole the register and whatever food was easily accessible. Chris came running down when he heard the commotion to find the very neighbors kids that he serves everyday looting his pride and joy. Please help me pick up the shattered pieces of Chris’s American Dream and show him that we stand behind his and every other small business owners dreams. “The good ones work out, but the great ones out work”. -Alex Toussaint


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Organizer and beneficiary

John Colangelo 
Bronx, NY
Crisostomo Castelan 

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