Written by Captain (SEL) Jonathan Christian, Friday, 20 November 2009 00:00
As a senior naval officer and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a proud resident of Westbury for my entire youth and an “every-time-I-return-home” customer of Maria’s Pastry Shop, I am compelled to provide formal feedback recognizing this amazing bakery for outstanding support to the U.S. military during the Global War on Terrorism.
From firsthand experience, I am duty-bound to state that the management and staff at Maria’s Pastry Shop went “above and beyond” by voluntarily providing servicemen deployed to Iraq a taste of America – a true morale booster in an arduous combat environment.
Joe DeLucia and his family/staff impressed me like no other culinary or service professional has in over 23 years of active military service. He is an exceedingly rare, precious commodity in a profession dedicated to and defined by service to others: His sincerity, warm spirit and giving nature, coupled with an unparalleled desire to exceed all expectations, make him unique to the culinary arts and our country. His natural ability to embrace the human element and circumstances of his customers make him “the” obvious choice for the most prestigious service award that you can bestow. He is, in a word, the “best” among us.
The bottom line [is] one cannot affix a price on the faces and in the hearts of the servicemen who, thousands of miles away in an oppressively hot and hostile land, lit up with job when each, in his own way, realized that a landmark pastry ship thought enough of them – and their sacrifices – to say thank you in such a genuine and tangible way. As delicious as the ingredients were, the message conveyed by Mr. DeLucia and his superb team at Maria’s Pastry Shop reflected the best in America – and made it simply the best chocolate fudge cake I, we, have ever had.