They haven’t worked for almost three months, ever since a tornado destroyed their business in Sioux Falls, but employees at Pizza Ranch aren’t just sitting at home waiting.
Pizza Ranch was just one of the businesses destroyed during Sioux Falls’ three tornadoes.
Surveillance video inside the family restaurant captured the devastation when it hit.
“You know it all happened so fast,” owner Michael Pharis said.
Michael Pharis is one of the owners, who was still working that night.
“I don’t think we could really process it that day, but a little scary afterwards when we saw the aftermath and had to pick up all the, all the debris the next couple of days,” Pharis said.
Cody Buchholz was the other employee still working.
“We didn’t really know right when it happened, we didn’t know the damage on the front. Because like I said the kitchen didn’t look as bad. When we finally looked up front we saw the wall was down and the windows are out, and then we walk back to the fun zone and noticed that the entire ceiling had come down on top of all the brand new games we had just installed,” Buchhoz said.
The damage was so bad, they haven’t been able to go back to work. So today, they, along with other Pizza Ranch employees spent time volunteering at Feeding South Dakota.
“It’s good for about the first two weeks and then you’re kind of looking for things to do and that’s why it’s really nice to come here and be able to volunteer and kind of put our time where we would be serving the community in our store, how we can do it in other ways and by coming here to feeding South Dakota and we have other things planned in the future,” Buchhoz said.
“So we just really love being able to give back to the community. So you know this is kind of the first of a couple volunteering projects that we want to do while we are closed,” Pharis said.
Feeding South Dakota, which relies heavily on volunteers to sort and unpackage the food, is grateful.
“Absolutely you know Pizza Ranch having gone through that disaster the summer with the tornadoes it’s so generous for them to reach back out to the community and offer help, especially during this time it’s a very, very generous and what they’re doing here,” Christina Oey development director of Feeding South Dakota said.
The restaurant may be closed, but in a sense, they’re still serving food and the community.
“Yep, we’re still, we’re still trying to feed South Dakota as good as we can,” Buchholz said.
The next project the Pizza Ranch employees will be volunteering for is Sioux Falls Cares.
On December 4th and 5th, they’ll use their 13 delivery vans to deliver toys and presents to needy families.