An 18-year-old pizzeria worker was praised for going above and beyond the call of duty after he broke the restaurant’s take-out rule to deliver a pizza to a family’s home three and a half hours away.
Julie and Rich Morgan had been reminiscing about the legendary pies that are served up at Steve’s Pizza place in Battle Creek, Michigan. It had been 25 years since the couple lived in the city, but despite the distance, the fabled restaurant still set the bar for the perfect slice of pizza.
“We were young and money was tight, but every pay day, Rich would pick up Steve’s Pizza for dinner,” Julie wrote in a Facebook post. “I can’t possibly describe how delicious this pizza is—but several moves and all these years later, it is still the gold standard and we’ve never found a better pizza yet. Rich has frequently critiqued other pizza as ‘good, but it’s no Steve’s.’”
Julie and Rich had been planning on visiting Battle Creek for her birthday—but as their vacation loomed closer, an unexpected cancer diagnosis left Rich in hospice.
“We talked about seeing the leaves and the lakeshore, but that was secondary to our planned visit to Steve’s,” says Julie. “Instead, I took Rich to the ER where he landed in ICU for five days, and where we learned the news that his valiant cancer battle was coming to an end.”
Unbeknownst to the couple, Julie’s father called Steve’s Pizza in hopes of getting a letter, text, or friendly phone call from the restaurant—but as fate would have it, the restaurant’s manager, 18-year-old Dalton Shaffer, answered the phone instead.
After listening to the plight of the Morgan family, Shaffer immediately asked what kind of pizzas the couple liked. Julie’s father emphasized that they lived in Indianapolis—which is 225 miles away from Battle Creek.
Despite the restaurant maintaining a firm take out-only rule, Shaffer waved away the man’s protests and said that he would be delivering two pepperoni pizzas to the couple’s house after he closed the store for the night.
True to his word, Shaffer drove for three and a half hours until he finally arrived at the Morgan’s house.
“And so, while Rich and I slept, at 2:30 AM, Dalton rolled into our driveway, left the car running and delivered two extra special pizzas to my waiting family,” wrote Julie. “He told them we were in his prayers, and offered to help in any way he could.
“My dad offered to put him up in a hotel, but he refused and immediately left for the return trip home because he had to work the next day,” she added.
Though the Morgan family has lauded praise about the pizzeria and their compassionate store manager, Shaffer remained humble. When asked about his extraordinary good deed, Shaffer told the Battle Creek Enquirer: “I just wanted to do that for them. I just wanted to make them happy.”
As a means of expressing her gratitude, Julie posted a photo of the legendary pie to Facebook, saying: “I am beyond overwhelmed and humbled by this act of genuine kindness. Dalton brought our family so much joy—and the best pizza in the world—at a really difficult time.
“While ‘thank you’ hardly seems adequate—from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dalton … for making your epic middle of the night pizza delivery!”
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