Before opening the popular neighborhood eatery Joey’s Custard on Sanibel Island, Joey Almeida spent three years serving our country in the Army. It was a call to duty that runs deep in his family – two uncles and his late father served in the Vietnam War. In honor of them, Joey is celebrating the first anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29.
“U.S. Armed Forces personnel with active duty service, between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location of service, are invited to have their choice of sundae or sandwich on the house,” said Joey. “We ask veterans to bring their VA card or DD214 form on March 29.”
“The recognition of Vietnam veterans service to our country is important to me. It will be a pleasure to be able to thank them and talk with them on a day set aside just for them,” said Joey, who lost his father as a direct result of exposure to nuclear missiles during the Vietnam War. “I have witnessed the strong bond of military service in my family and hope this day will form new, ever-lasting bonds.”
National Vietnam Veterans Day was developed by the Gold Star Wives of America, a Congressionally chartered non-profit organization that provides services to the active duty and service-connected military surviving spouses. Joey’s mother and business partner, Debi, is a member. “This commemorative day is very close to our hearts,” she said. “We look forward to serving them.”
Joey’s Custard, located in The Bailey’s Center, offers more than 30 flavors of ice cream and real custard ice cream with topping choices that are sure to please. The sandwich menu ranges from an Italian served on a ciabatta roll or the Cuban with freshly sliced mojo pork to The San-Cap with ham, choice of cheese and brown mustard.
“Our ice cream is all natural, made with real cream and real sugar, and sandwiches are made fresh to order,” said Debi, who will be releasing a book in the memory of her husband.
“The book will tell his story through emails to loved ones during the last six weeks of his life, intermixed with artwork he drew while stationed in bunkers in Germany,” said Debi. It’s due to be published in the fall of 2018 and will be sold at the eatery.
Joey’s Custard, 2467 Periwinkle Way, has earned five-star ratings from TripAdvisor and Yelp. Find it on Facebook, Instagram or at joeyscustard.com.