Community staple bakery offers free food for elderly and health care workers

Cinotti’s serves community camaraderie during COVID-19


A 5th generation family-owned business, Cinotti’s Bakery and Sandwich Shop serves more than decadent desserts and savory sandwiches on homemade breads. It also serves the beaches community a lot of goodwill during its hard times.

“It’s one of those things that we did start to realize is that people do look to us as a calm in the storm,” said Michelle Vining, owner.

Recently, Cinotti’s has been advertising free meals to medical workers and the elderly during the pandemic. Vining said that residents with an elderly neighbor or family member are encouraged to come in and place an order for a free lunch. Vining also asks medical workers to bring their badges in for verification, but she said she is mostly “working on the honor system.”

So far, Vining said that every day over $300 to $500 dollars in food has been attributed to medical workers and the elderly seeking food during the outbreak.

This isn’t the first time Cinotti’s has offered some sort of community relief, however. But it has been the most successful.

“We have done (meals) for our first responders in the past,” Vining said. “But we've never seen the responses that we are getting today. It's been bigger than anything we've ever done. I don't know if they are just exhausted and they are just excited or what. It’s one of those things where we started to realize that people do look to us as a calm in the storm.” 

Vining does want to stress, however, that although Cinotti’s is a local staple, they are fully committed to following government mandates and will close during the pandemic if that is what is in the best interest for the community. They no longer have their dining room open and are ensuring that precautions are being made to ensure the safety of its customers. Currently, Cinotti’s is to-go orders and pick up only.

To pick up some food for an elderly person, or someone who’s stuck at home, call (904) 246-1728 and give Cinotti’s Bakery a heads-up before coming in.


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