Longtime San Leandro family-owned catering company to shut down amid worsening COVID-19 pandemic

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
East Bay business founded in WWII calls it quits amid COVID-19 crisis
An East Bay catering business, founded in the World War II era is calling it quits, unable to move ahead amid a near total shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay catering business founded in the World War II era is calling it quits, unable to move ahead amid a near total shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Miraglia Catering has survived wars, recessions and even the owner's heart transplant...until now.

"We had the dot-com demise, the bottom fell out then," recalled owner Cheryl Miraglia. "My husband had health challenges. He had a heart transplant and then after that there was the 2008 recession. But nothing like this. It's so surreal."

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Now, it's just a matter of cooking up the last meals and delivering the final orders.

"As it keeps going, it's just not going to be solved," said Mike Miraglia. " You see the writing on the wall."

A business that catered thousands of weddings, birthday parties, and events simply can't survive on boxed meals and just seven percent of its normal clientele.

"There's no light at the end of the tunnel," explained Cheryl Miraglia. "There's no timeline. You don't know how long it's going to last and you're bleeding. You're losing money every day. In fact, I just wrote out about 150,000 in refunds checks for deposits to clients."

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The kitchen will close for good on Wednesday, but the memories made by the family business will live on forever.

"I was hoping to make the 75th anniversary and turn it over to my nephew. Let him proceed," said Mike Miraglia, "but that's just not working out. 72 years for catering though. That's a pretty good record."

Although it is too late to save their business, the Miraglias would like to see greater focus and attention paid to the larger catering industry, which is struggling mightily all across the country.

That includes an additional round of federal funding in the short term, and guidelines from the state that would allow catering businesses to at least operate on a limited basis for outdoor events.

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