Magic Tree, L. Calvin Jones Bring Food to the Front Lines

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Across the country, hospitals and medical professionals are receiving food and gifts from their communities. St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital is no different.

John Rudy, owner of Magic Tree Pub and Eatery, decided to switch things up for the doctors and nurses on Thursday. He delivered 100 servings of chicken bacon ranch wraps, potato salad and dessert.

According to Rudy, the hospital has mostly received pizza and pasta when meals have been donated. Rudy, his head chef and general manager prepped the kitchen last night and arrived early to prepare the meals.

“Magic Tree’s known for supporting local,” Rudy said. “We’re known for giving back to the community. So just to help a local business, support all the local employees here at the hospital, there’s no question that I said yes immediately.”

Jim Klingensmith, president of L. Calvin Jones & Co., said the insurance company funded the catering and helped deliver the food and supplies. He and his company have focused on helping local businesses since Ohio started its shutdown for nonessential businesses.

“We insure quite a few restaurants and we like to help the community, so we thought this was a really good way to do it,” Klingensmith said. “Support the restaurants and the frontline workers that are trying to save lives.”

L. Calvin Jones contacted Magic Tree a couple days prior to prepare a plan to feed the hospital employees. Klingensmith said the company’s prior experience helped during the early stages of the planning and Rudy had a contact at the hospital and Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

“We’ve been doing this for five weeks now,” Klingensmith said. “This order here puts us at about $9,700 we’ve spent thus far.”

Rudy laid off 50 employees due to reduced business, leaving him with six workers. He’s temporarily turned Magic Tree into a catering service. After delivering to St. Elizabeth, he had to prepare and deliver lunch and dinner to Crowe’s Cabinets in Poland and St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in Youngstown.

Magic Tree also has been feeding the National Guard every Tuesday and frequently serves Second Harvest Food Bank.

“It’s my truck, my personal truck,” Rudy said. “I never thought I’d use it for this. I use it for hauling and stuff, but you just have to adapt and adjust. That’s our mentality right now.”

Magic Tree is still open for take-out orders. Rudy said customers appear positive and are willing to help local businesses. He said it comes down to adjusting to the situation. 

“It’s a tough time, but we’re definitely going to get through this,” Rudy said.

The delivery from Magic Tree and L. Calvin Jones, as well as donations from other organizations and restaurants, are appreciated, said Dr. John Luellen, president of Mercy Health-Youngstown.

“Associates from all levels within the Mercy Health ministry continue to courageously and selflessly care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement. “Individuals, families and businesses across the valley have stepped up to show their support and provide fuel in the form of food for our associates. The impact they are making in helping remind those working the front line that their commitment and dedication doesn’t go unnoticed is remarkable. We are truly grateful.”

Pictured: Delivering 100 meals to St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital are Brian Battaglia, vice president at L. Calvin Jones & Co.; Jim Klingensmith, L. Calvin Jones president; John Rudy, owner of Magic Tree Pub and Eatery; and Keith Miller, vice president at L. Calvin Jones.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.