When news of the Valley Fire began to spread, many Napans began to gather and donate money, clothing, tents and other essentials for those in need.
Scott Caster of Woodland knew he wanted to contribute as well. And for him, that meant one thing: pizza.
Caster is the owner of the Napa Pizza Guys restaurant. Right before the Valley Fire started, Caster had just taken possession of a mobile pizza trailer from his corporate office.
After hearing about the crowds of evacuees heading to a relief center at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga, Caster said he knew what to do.
“Let’s just go to the Napa store, make a bunch of dough and we’ll help them out.”
Arriving in Calistoga by 1 p.m. on the Monday after the fire started, Caster, his wife, Danielle, and his team got to work. In total, they baked and handed out about 1,300 slices of free pizza to anyone who was hungry.
“So many people were coming in” to the center, he said. “It was sad, but the people who came up and got a slice — you could tell it took their mind off it for just a moment.”
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Later that week, Caster did the same for the Butte Fire refugees, handing out more than 100 pizzas at three different relief centers.
“We were all so impressed with Scott’s willingness to serve, he found us and was eager to feed those in need,” said JoAnne Holmquist from the Burson Full Gospel Church, near the Butte fire area.
“Our group was expecting pizza to be previously made and dropped off so when he arrived with a truck equipped with ovens and started making fresh hot pizza on the spot, it created excitement among our community that has been suffering with the unfortunate events,” she said. “We didn’t have to find Scott to ask if he could come and feed the group, he found us. We feel so blessed to have crossed his path.”
“We were there for a reason,” Caster said. “It was nice to bring comfort to those who were in a moment of great need.”
Caster and his staff also put out collection bins at his three Pizza Guys restaurants: Napa, Davis and Woodland. He filled four trailer loads of donated clothing, perishable foods, canned food, toys for kids — “anything you could think of.”
Caster said he’s never been a victim of a fire. “I can’t imagine,” he said. Many of the people he served “didn’t know if their home was still standing.”
Pizza Guys was started in 1986 by Shahpour Nejad and Reza Kalantari. They started franchising Pizza Guys in 1994. Pizza Guys currently has over 60 locations and franchising opportunities throughout California, Nevada and Oregon.