The first Good Stuff restaurant opened in Hermosa Beach 40 years ago on April 24, but a global pandemic is not slowing down the South Bay icon.

While founder Cris Bennett is battling to keep his restaurants afloat during the novel coronavirus outbreak, and the original Hermosa Beach location is currently closed for business, he is giving back to his employees as well as the first responders.

“It's been a very gratifying thing for not only myself, but also also my staff, my managers, my cooks, plus I've been able to bring some people back that have been furloughed for a while to work,” Bennett said. “ It's been a win-win for me and the community and we're just going to keep this going.”

Good Stuff is bringing meals to those serving the frontlines. To donate $20, which purchases two meals, contact one of the three open locations during during business hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in El Segundo, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes locations.

Meals have been donated to Little Company of Mary Hospital; Torrance Memorial Medical Center; local fire departments and police departments; and beach cities lifeguards.

Bennett said the first day the meals went on sale they sold 300 and then the following day 200.

“It was like, Whoa, and we hadn't even started delivering yet,” Bennett said. “We hadn't even had it figured out yet. So we scrambled to get it done. And then in the next day, we did our first delivery of 25 meals over at Little Company of Mary. Then Rotary called me up and they wanted 100 meals.”

Good Stuff has now delivered well over 2,000 meals.

“We went to the hospitals and got cleared with our health department permit and our items are completely sealed,” Bennett said.

After they had to shut down on March 16, Bennett said the community has “really backed us.” No employees were laid off, but he did have to furlough some.

“We're surviving,” Bennett said. “My job right now is to make sure we're solvent and we get to reopen and we get to bring our employees back. I've been communicating with my employees—just trying to rally them—sharing what we're doing in the community with the first responders and they're pretty stoked.”

Bennett said that first responders have been appreciative.

“They're just over the top and just so pumped about it because a lot of people have reached out to them, residents wanting to bring food over, but they just can't take that,” Bennett said. “It's just a blessing to get something different from cafeteria food for these hospital workers that are just putting themselves in harm's way.”

Good Stuff will also be teaming with the Redondo Sunset baseball league to deliver food for the needy and for seniors in conjunction with the Blue Zones Project and the Beach Cities Health District.

“We’re just mobilizing,” Bennett said.

Good Stuff locations in Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes and El Segundo are open for pick-up and curbside pick-up and delivery for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Hermosa Beach location is temporarily closed.

For more information, visit eatgoodstuff.com.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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