March 24th, 2014

jeff_fabroa_blog.jpgJeff (pictured center) with the late Tyrone Fabroa’s sister and brother.

Jeff Maneval has logged more than 31,000 hours behind the line with us. But, for this field manager and Miller Delivery Kitchen general manager, Pagliacci isn’t just a paycheck, nor is it just pizza; it’s a connection between people and food.

“The company has kept me challenged enough so I never grow listless,” says Jeff. “I would say the ability to get to know my customers – some of them at least – but also being fully in charge of the quality that we serve are the two biggest components of my job satisfaction.”

Jeff joined the Pagliacci family in 1999. That wasn’t where his food career began, though. ”I remember being so excited to try cooking the items on the menu of Buck’s American Café,” he says of the restaurant that hired him on as a dishwasher at 15. “I couldn’t wait to go home and cook for my mom.”

From there, Jeff went on to sharpen his knife skills as a teppanyaki chef at the now defunct Jillian’s in South Lake Union. The restaurant eventually moved away from that cooking style, leaving Jeff jobless. Jillian’s loss was our gain. Admittedly knowing more about steak cuts than pizza slices, Jeff decided to change gears anyway, launching his Pagliacci career.

Since then, he’s developed more than his passion for food; he’s found an avenue for connecting with others. With his booming voice and towering stature, Jeff easily commands a room, but it’s his bigheartedness that resonates most. After we began partnering with the St. James Cathedral Kitchen, Owner Matt Galvin’s wife Michelle approached Jeff about heading up this endeavor.

“Donating my time or money has always been very important to me,” says Jeff, who never misses a chance to give back. “So, when Michelle offered me the opportunity to represent Pagliacci at St. James I was very honored.”

One Thursday a month, Jeff rallies a team of Pagliacci crew members to prepare a meal at the soup kitchen, occasionally opting to bring in pizza instead. “I have enlisted the aid of our purveyors. With their help and Matt and Michelle’s generosity we have had almost a year of doing the right thing.”