Those who know Melissa Cottam know she means business. And that business is pizza. The owner of arguably the best pizza in the region (if not the whole of Vancouver Island), “Moo” as she’s known by most around town, is an even better person.
Like in years past, this year between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 Moo and the staff at Moo’s Pizza collected money for the food bank. For every pick-up order for two-for-one pizzas, the pizzeria set aside $2 for the food bank to help buy items to fill the Christmas Hampers for the less fortunate.
In part because her pizza is that good and customers can’t get enough, and in part because so many in the region admire and support Moo’s commitment to the community, this year’s endeavour was a resounding success.
On Friday Moo posted on Facebook that she’d completed her shopping trip and had a huge van load of goods destined for the food bank.
She expressed her gratitude to the folks at Country Grocer for removing the purchase limits on some of their bulk items and for their help in packing up the van when all was said and done.
Moo also thanked the Old Farm Market crew “for the great deal,” and for the envelope of cash she was handed on her way out the door that the market staff raised for the food bank as well.
Despite being the organizer of the event, and the one Facebook friends and followers have begun thanking in earnest under her original Facebook post, Moo’s own thank-you list didn’t end there.
She thanked her “awesome customers” for driving to the storefront to pick up their pizza when it may have been more convenient to have it delivered.
“A couple nights the lobby was so full people were sitting on the window sill,” she wrote.
She also thanked the Kerry Park Atom hockey group donating 100 take n’ bake pizzas to the food bank for the third year in a row.
“I will cook and deliver in smaller batches to give the lunch cooks a break,” she said.
Moo told the Citizen on Friday all the food she bought with the store’s collection money went to the Basket Society in Duncan.
In addition she said she took four boxes of tuques, mittens and blankets to Warmland House on Lewis Street.
“I have a customer who knits like crazy and each year I trade her for pizza for boxes of knitting,” she said.
There’s a simple reason for doing it every year, Moo explained.
“It makes me feel good to help. It always has. I’m one of those people that would rather give gifts than receive them.”
Moo said her family wasn’t very well off when she was little and her mom went to great lengths to ensure the family’s Christmases were special and that there were presents under the tree.
“Now I’m an adult…I feel bad that we all go spending money on material stuff for each other when there’s someone who would just like to have a complete meal for them and the kids at Christmas,” she said. “Also I feel that I need to support a community that supports me. Without them I would have no food on my table so I will alway have their back. Whether it’s Christmas or not I support this community always and feel great doing so.”