Montgomery County family juggles 4 businesses, 7 kids during COVID-19 pandemic

BALA CYNWYD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The coronavirus crisis has taken a toll on small businesses and families.

One Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family is now figuring it all out as part of their recipe for recovery.

With kitchen tables turning into classrooms, the juggle is more real than ever these days.

Marlo and Jason Dilks are well known in the area as the owners of four popular restaurants.

The Dilks also have seven kids. How are they handling it all at home?

"I like a lot of chaos," says Jason. "I enjoy this."

But a visit to their home in Bala Cynwyd proves it's organized chaos.

They have seven daughters: Nadia (19), Capri (9), Avana (8), Chiara (7), 3-year-old twins Luciana and Giorgia, and Roma who just turned one.

They also have four businesses: three Slice pizza locations, and P'unk Burger on Passyunk Avenue.

When they think back to the day they had to close their dining rooms, they recall the sadness and stress.

"It was really scary," says Marlo. "For days we had no delivery or pickup and I think in part it's because everybody was just frantic."

Luckily, they're no strangers to takeout and delivery.

"We're completely operating with a full menu and full delivery and curbside pickup," said Marlo.

They also managed to keep all of their employees, pivoting some into new positions.

Add to all of this, distance learning. Three of the girls are in first, second and third grade.

"I guess it's part being one of seven that they are somewhat independent," adds Marlo, who says each girl works at her own desk in her own room.

Now, factor in three toddlers.

"I have an extra hand, thank goodness," says Marlo, pointing to her oldest daughter Nadia.

As a family, they're trying to keep things fun.

"We make S'mores and slime," says Jason.

They are also trying to be positive, and they are grateful for the community's support of local mom and pops -- like theirs.

"We are a small family business and these businesses feed our families," Marlo says.

They also say for anyone wanting to support any of their local businesses, order directly from them if you can. This way, they can avoid paying fees to big delivery services.

Marlo also adds that this is not the time for perfection, rather the time to count your blessings.


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