Carlo Capua and his mother, Janet, announced in a Facebook post Nov. 3 that they have decided to close Z’s Cafe and Catering at the end of the year.
“Running a food business (especially during COVID) is a true juggling act,” Capua said in the post. “Sometimes, however, we must listen to our heads and hearts.”
They made the decision, he said, after months of soul searching and prayer.
“As one of the first social enterprises in Fort Worth, we have immense gratitude for everyone who supported us since Janet cut the grand opening ribbon back in 2009,” he said.
“We hold our heads high having just finished the #feedtarrant program with the United Way of Tarrant County, bringing more than 100,000+ meals to families over the summer. Thank you to Leah McCloe King and team for partnering with us,” he said. “We are immensely proud to have realized Steve Dutton’s initial vision with Samaritan House – we’ve put 163 low-income men and women back to work over the past 13 years.”
Capua also issued a shout out the to what he called “our biggest champions.”
He named “Jana Harris Campbell at Harris Packaging Corporation (for our boxed lunch boxes), Lane Sisson Gallagher and Higginbotham (for supporting us during the pandemic), Andrea Puente at Facebook Data Center (who single-handedly kept us in business over the summer), all the sponsors and volunteers of our Crisis Meals Program (#FeedtheFort), and our incredible staff who have become like family to us.”
He said his mother wants to spend more time with her grandchildren and still sell her chicken salad, and he has been accepted into a master’s program at Harvard University – virtual right now – and plan to focus on other bucket list items.
“If there’s one thing my mom taught me, it’s to always seek your next challenge and never become complacent. Life is too short for mediocrity,” Capua said.
He offered three morals of the 13-year story:
– “It’s never too late to follow your dream. After 40 years as a dental hygienist, my mom literally woke up one morning and decided to start a catering business at age 63. And she’s never been happier. Mom, I love you and have never been more proud of you.”
– “There are many people who have paid heavily for a bad decision. Maybe they’ve gone to jail, been homeless, or are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. Consider giving them a second chance. Our greatest success stories have been the men and women who came to us broken. By giving them a reason to get out of bed in the morning, they’ve pieced themselves back together. It has redeemed our faith in humanity more than we could ever explain.”
– “It’s important to know when to say goodbye. COVID-19 has made it hard for food businesses to survive. We will exit with all of our vendors and staff paid. We will continue catering until mid-December, so call us! If you have an event booked with us, don’t worry –- we’ve got you covered.”
“As we transition out, we hope it will clear a path for other caterers to make it through this pandemic. Please continue supporting these local food businesses who create much-needed jobs at all levels to enrich our community,” he said. “Last but not least: Thank you, Fort Worth. You have been very, very good to us.”