If you are staying in town for a quiet Thanksgiving holiday, there are plenty of restaurants in the neighborhood that are cooking up turkey dinners, but this story of a special tradition among friends caught our attention.
For the past five years, Debbie Weiner, a local resident and co-owner of the beloved bakery, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and her good friend, Tom Cappa (also a local resident), have combined forces to offer up a bountiful Thanksgiving feast for the neighborhood.
Weiner says the story goes like this:
Tom approached me about hosting Thanksgiving dinner in 2014 and opening the doors to friends, friends of friends, people in the neighborhood, customers and anyone that didn’t have plans for the holiday. I approached my business partner, Peg, and said, “What do you think?” Her answer was “Sure, why not?”.
Tom and I go out shopping and then start some prepping the night before. My plan is to be open for business from 10a – 3p, but we will be here until 6 or 7 with the party, and we won’t be turning anyone away…Last year was the first year that I kept the store open and it was an even bigger success. As people were coming in to pick up treats, they were given plates of food. It was amazing.
We have five turkeys (we have a special turkey for the kids to decorate), lasagna, fish, and vegetarian options – [plus] wine, beer, soda, water and fun. It’s amazing to see the store transformed.
When it is all over, we fill up Ziploc bags and take to the streets and subway with food for people. It’s all part of the event.
Everyone is invited. If you know someone who is alone, or if you know someone who does not have a family, all are welcome…It is called paying it forward, for no other reason than to celebrate how lucky we have been in life. Thanksgiving is a non-denominational holiday and no one should be alone.
It is time for friends to get together, to laugh and make new memories, and to make new friends with those who join us in celebration.