Operation Ranger Up

Hero of the Week: The Mellow Mushroom

By
Updated: January 30, 2013
MELLOW1

Editor’s Note: Big thanks to Sylvia for sending this to us. There isn’t going to be any commentary from us as the original article from ABC News and written by Susan Clarke pretty much sums it up. And, as a side note, RU just purchased a metric ton of food from our local Mellow Mushroom in Durham for our strategery meeting last Saturday.  -Rob

 By Susan Clarke

MM1Army National Guard Maj. Shawn Fulker is thousands of miles away serving in Afghanistan, and when his wife’s birthday came around, he decided he wanted to do something very special.

Josephine Fulker loves Mellow Mushroom pizza, so her husband emailed Mellow Mushroom’s corporate website on Thursday to ask whether one of the company’s Jacksonville stores could deliver a pizza and a $50 gift card to his wife at their Jacksonville, Fla., home. If they could, he said, he would call the store and pay for it with his credit card.

Mellow Mushroom did one better. Unbeknownst to Shawn Fulker, a local Mellow Mushroom franchise was working to make his request even more memorable.

“We had the cook make a heart-shaped pizza, and then we stopped by the nearest Publix (supermarket) to get flowers and then we picked up balloons, just to kind of make it special,” Brooke Chafee, a manager at the Jacksonville store, told ABCNews.com on Monday evening.

Chafee and another employee of the store made the special delivery — which included the $50 gift card to Mellow Mushroom — in person to Fulker’s home on Thursday. They didn’t charge Shawn Fulker a thing.

John Valentino, the Mellow Mushroom franchisee who owns that location and others in Jacksonville, said his store was happy to have made the day special for the couple.

“Of course we weren’t going to charge him for anything,” Valentino told ABC. “Him being a serviceman and his wife being home. … Hopefully in her husband’s absence we were able to help her have a great birthday while he’s over in Afghanistan serving our country.”

Josephine Fulker had just finished Skyping with her husband when the doorbell rang and she saw the two Mellow Mushroom employees at her door on Thursday.

“I don’t know their names exactly, but they had a pizza and a big butterfly balloon and a vase of flowers with a gift card for $50 and they told me that it was from my husband. I said ‘Oh my goodness.’ I was surprised and excited and overwhelmed and all of that. It was so nice,” she said.

It was especially nice because Shawn Fulker had already sent his wife flowers and candy earlier that day. Since he hadn’t been able to check his email for a while, he had no idea that Mellow Mushroom had been working on his initial request.

Josephine Fulker told ABC News that the even the slices of pepperoni on the pizza were cut into the heart shapes. The Fulkers have been married for seven years and have a 5-year-old son, Ethan. They were both touched by the company’s gesture.

“He was just really overwhelmed with their thoughtful act of kindness,” Josephine, 41, said of her 46-year-old husband.

In an email to ABC News on Monday, Shawn Fulker described how much the company’s gesture moved him.

“I miss my wife and son so much, and seeing that photo of them smiling at my front door brought tears to my eyes,” he wrote. “When I received the email and photo from Mellow Mushroom I was sitting at my desk, and had to get up and leave the room to compose myself. I am very grateful for that moment.”

He posted a summary of his interaction with Mellow Mushroom on the store’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“I got an email from my wife saying that Mellow Mushroom just delivered a special heart-shaped pizza along with a $50 gift card and some balloons and flowers! The GM, J.P. Morgan, emailed me and said simply ‘We got you bro’ … Thank you so much for this J.P., and please pass my thanks along to your team,” he wrote.

As of Monday night, Fulker’s post has been liked more than 65,000 times. More than 2,000 comments poured in from admiring Facebook users.

“Well done MM! Reason # 55 why you’re my favorite!” Jason Schalk commented.

“What a great thing for the restaurant to do!!!” added Tricia Robinson Tinsley.

Comments

comments

13 Comments

  1. Peter D

    January 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    they did a great thing. You should see the way their facebook page is blowing up. They deserved it too. They did what they thought was right, because it was right and still do not believe the response pouring out. That is why it is the right thing to do.

  2. A Proud Infidel

    January 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    KUDOS to Mellow Mushroom, I’m making it a point to eat there more often!!

  3. Reggie

    January 31, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Their food is great, their workers (for the most part) are always nice, and they have gone out of their way to accomodate requests for large parties and get togethers (in Fayetteville, NC at least). AND they have a great beer selection… so that always helps!

  4. blueline73

    February 1, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I went to MM in Columbus for pizza and ranger IPA with some guys from RTAC before we all reported to Ranger School the next day. As our last decent meal before the suck, this cheesy deliciousness was all we could think about over the next hellish months. We fantasized about it, talked about it, and would have dreamed about it, had we been permitted sleep. MM was out first stop on our pass back at Benning, after Florida. To this day, that big ole’ philospher’s pie will always be remembered as the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. This story just makes this establishment that much more special to me. Awesome.

  5. Cecilio Mendez

    February 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    These are the kind of stories that makes America and our soldiers great. Too bad there are some “warm-bodies-with-an-attitude” who will never get to understand either one of them. Please pass my gratitude to the guys at Mellow Mushroom Pizza. I will make a note to make them my favorite pizzeria, bar none.

  6. Cecilio Mendez

    February 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    These are the kind of stories that makes America and our soldiers great. Too bad there are some “warm-bodies-with-an-attitude” who will never get to understand either one of them. Please pass my gratitude to the guys at Mellow Mushroom Pizza. I will make a note to make them my favorite pizzeria, bar none. I know there are many more similar stories that go unheard or unpublished. That does not make them less important, but we must strive to find them and let everyone now. MSM is after blood, gore and sorrow as their only and exclusive way to grab attention from their ever-disappearing customer base.

  7. Just Plain Old

    February 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Just when you want to give up on the World… HEART SHAPED PEPPERONI! Damn, these guys are thoughtful AND romantic! I’m touched… very cool. Take a knee, America… we need to learn from folks like these.

  8. Just Plain Old

    February 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Just when you want to give up on the World… HEART SHAPED PEPPERONI! Damn, these guys are thoughtful AND romantic! I’m touched… very cool. Take a knee, America… we need to learn from folks like the crew at Mellow Mushroom. Thanks RU for the heads up… this would have gotten past me without your post. RLTW…

  9. Jake

    February 6, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Great story, and that is some great pizza too. I haven’t had it in so long though. Last time I had it was when I was stationed at Ft. Benning, and I don’t know of any in Illinois otherwise I’d be glued to a seat.

  10. Carlos Silva

    February 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    My family loved MM in Columbus, GA. We were less enthusiastic about the ones here in Phoenix, but now we have to go back, like “Just Plain Old” said; “Just when you want to give up on the World…” I love MM again.
    -C

  11. Adam

    February 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

    ..and to think that all of this time I took them for a hippie establishment.. to think of all of the good pizza I missed out on due to my douchey misinterpretation of this fine organization. GREAT WORK MM!

  12. Richard

    August 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Out-freaking-standing!

  13. Andy

    September 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Very effective and inexpensive advertising on MM’s part. I’m hungry for pizza and I know who I’m going to hand my money to.
    Now, which MM is closest to me?

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