Jet ski pizza delivery making a splash in Long Lake

Nick Ferrugia, owner of Long Lake Grocery, delivers pizzas all around Long Lake on his jet ski.

It's not every day that your pizza delivery man has to wear a life jacket, but for folks on Long Lake, that's exactly the case.

The Long Lake Grocery in Grand Traverse County found a way to help customers by coming out to them on the water with a jet ski.

Owner Nick Ferrugia noticed a traffic jam across the street from the store at the public beach's dock.

â??There were boats lining up to get on the dock to come get their pizza and other goodies,â?? explained Ferrugia. â??So I thought there's got to be a better way.â??

Ferrugia had a friend make a custom pizza holder and mounted it to the back of a jet ski.

The case holds six extra-large pizzas.

â??I can go 60-65 MPH, but there's a balance between getting the machine up on the plane and not going too fast and hitting any waves because the pizzas like to move around. I already flipped one right in two,â?? said Ferrugia.

In order to make sure the pizzas aren't too jumbled, he only goes around 20 MPH when delivering.

So far, the store is making deliveries around the lake Friday through Sunday.

â??I couldn't believe that I would actually be able to send in a pizza order and have it delivered by jet ski,â?? said Bob James who lives on Long Lake. â??This is the first time it's amazing.â??

With a $3 delivery fee, Ferrugia is not just making house or dock calls. The jet ski delivery is a hit for those out on the water.

â??Most people are around boats and it's the whole novelty of getting it delivered to you on a wave runner,â?? said Ferrugia.

â??Nick should play up the idea that people are on their pontoon boats and they've got cell phones and call it right in,â?? said James.

It's not as simple as pulling up next to a boat to deliver. Ferrugia has to get off the machine to get the pizza from the back.

Now that people are starting to recognize him as the pizza man out on the lake, it can get a little confusing.

â??They like to wave and say hello, so I'm not sure if I'm making a delivery to them or if I'm just saying hello,â?? admitted Ferrugia.

The people on the receiving end of the pizza say it's a pretty good deal.

â??I absolutely would recommend it heartily as long as they let me join in and have a free piece,â?? joked James.

Nick Ferrugia says he'd like to upgrade to a pontoon so he can deliver more items.

â??I'm having a lot of fun doing it. I'm not going to lie to you there!â??

He's also considering using his snowmobile for deliveries in the winter.