Jenna Arcidiacono

Hero Story

Jenna Arcidiacono is the owner of Amore Trattoria Italiana in Comstock Park and was recently named the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 2020 overall Newsmaker of the Year. Jenna used her local celebrity chef status to lead the way in helping others during the pandemic, while simultaneously working to reinvent her own business in order to survive in a time when many restaurants have had to close. In the early months of the pandemic, Jenna began feeding frontline workers with what she referred to a “Food Hugs.” She was featured by nearly every local TV station, print and online media outlet, and even made national news when she was nominated by a local fan to be featured on celebrity entertainer Mike Rowe’s Facebook show “Returning the Favor,” through which she received $10,000 to continue feeding frontline workers free of charge. Since the local restaurant industry has also suffered during the pandemic, Jenna created another initiative called Tip-Back Thursday. Individuals can donate throughout the week and each Thursday, Jenna surprises local restaurants with tips of at least $1,000. Through these efforts, she has provided more than $40,000 to the restaurant community. These efforts led to the creation of a nonprofit called Food Hugs (https://www.foodhugs.org/).