SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 15, 2013

Former Ma Duke's owner still plans to cook Thanksgiving meals

DANVERS — Former Ma Duke’s owner Debby Marticio is still hoping to cook as many as 1,500 free meals with all the fixings for those in need this Thanksgiving, despite losing her Maple Street restaurant last December due to health reasons.

Without her restaurant as a base of operations, she and volunteers are planning to serve the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce from the American Legion post in Middleton.

“So many people want to help,” said, Marticio, 57, of Danvers. “Fantastic.”

Marticio said at least 25 people have volunteered to cook turkeys, while others have offered to serve or deliver meals at the Augustus P. Gardner American Legion Post 227 at 69 River St.

For six years, Marticio cooked free Thanksgiving meals at Ma Duke’s. She did so last year despite falling behind on her electric bills to the town, which forced the closure of the restaurant for a few weeks in October 2012 when the lights were shut off.

Donations helped her come up with money for a payment plan with the town’s municipal electric division to allow the eatery to reopen and defray the cost of the Thanksgiving meals. She served or delivered 750 free meals. In past years, she has served upward of 1,000 meals, she said.

In December 2012, health reasons forced Marticio to close Ma Duke’s after doctors found and removed a noncancerous 31-pound tumor from her abdomen. The operation put her out of work and forced her to close her establishment. Marticio is now back working at Jimmy’s Famous Roast Beef and Seafood on High Street, where she worked before opening her own place.

When she closed Ma Duke’s, her big regret was “not being able to do Thanksgiving anymore,” she said.

Marticio said she had been searching for the right place to cook the meals, but few were a good fit. Some venues were already serving meals.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Comments Tracker