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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — They are well-known names in central Ohio. And, on Friday, they teamed up for a special delivery.

 

Velvet Ice Cream offered up some espresso gelato, while Donatos Pizza served up pizza and salad.

 

“I mean, who doesn’t love pizza and ice cream?” said Dave Parsons, manager of PR and communications for Donatos Pizza. “Just central Ohio businesses coming together. It’s such a big thing. You watch the governor’s address every day, and we talk about ‘in this together Ohio,’ and this is a great example of that right there.”

 

Donatos is now a third-generation company, and Velvet is in its fourth generation of family ownership.

 

“Ice cream, and pizza as well, they certainly put smiles on people’s face, and everybody’s working around the clock, and anything to give them a smile, give them a break in their day, and ice cream does that, so that’s where we said, we have donation items, and we need to get them out and to those people that needed just a little smile on their face,” said Joanne Dager, vice president of Velvet.

 

The two companies have been doing well during the coronavirus pandemic. Pizza delivery is certainly in demand right now, and Parsons says that has been keeping the employees working while so many other companies have been forced to lay off workers or close. And, while the food service side of Velvet has suffered a bit, the demand for supply in grocery and convenience stores has pushed the company into its five-day production routine, which is typically reserved for the busy summer season.

 

On Friday, however, Velvet and Donatos teamed up to give back to the community.

 

They delivered pizza and gelato to Ohio Department of Health lab workers who are putting in long hours testing coronavirus samples.

 

“They’re super excited, who doesn’t love pizza and ice cream? So they’re thankful,” said Melanie Amato, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Health. “You know, this is just not a lot of — a job they don’t get thanked on a daily basis, and right now, they are super important to fighting and getting people those results that they are looking for.”

 

The employees are working morning to night, typically performing three phases of testing a day, which can mean up to 250 samples. But, on Friday, those roughly 50 employees got a bit of a break from two local companies.

 

“We’re in this together, Ohio, so it’s nice when Ohio companies recognize Ohio employees and Ohio public health officials on what they’re doing,” Amato said.