Being able to take her child to work made a difference for one mom
Amanda Villeneuve hand tosses pizza dough while her son, Chance Conway, keeps her updated on his online game score. The two aren’t home – they are at Bruno’s Pizza.
Villeneuve has worked nearly two years at the restaurant. She, like many employees of restaurants and businesses without power, had time off because of Hurricane Irma.
“I was off the whole week and stressing out,” Villeneuve said.
Villeneuve said the first couple of days at home were fun, as she played games like “flash light tag” with her three young children. But much of the food, nearly $150 worth, went bad when the power failed at her home. With no hours to work and no pay, Villenueve, like many others began to wonder how she would pay the bills.
Her employer agreed to let her reopen the restaurant, with a limited menu, on Thursday, Sept. 14. Her two youngest children were able to go to day care, and Chance came to work with her.
The doors are open, with hopes of a breeze lingering in the air with the humidity. Villeneuve is quick with a smile. She's happy to be able to work at all.
“She’s been pretty amazing through this,” Villeneuve said, referring to the owner, Marie Chenowith. “She bought a generator after Hurricane Matthew, so this year we were ready. She is always good about letting my son come to work with me.”
The restaurant has partial power, enough to run the refrigerator, but the generator was necessary to run the pizza oven.
Working with her was Brian McCarthy, who grew up in the area and has been through his share of hurricanes and power outages.
“We are delivering too,” Villeneuve said.
Chance said he likes Ormond Beach Elementary, where he is in the third grade, but he likes going to work with mom more. He spends his time watching TV and playing games on the computer, helping mom when he can.
“I help mom at home cleaning my room, and doing chores,” Chance said.
Villeneuve has served many of the workers who have come down to help restore power to the area.
“We have had the parking lot full of power trucks,” she said. “They said 48 states and Canada have come to help. Some of the workers from Canada were here yesterday. I have power back on at home, so that helps.”