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Employees at The Surfrider Malibu hold up thank you signs for healthcare workers as they prepare to deliver 450 meals over Easter weekend. Photos submitted
Employees at Surfrider Malibu prepare to deliver 450 meals to local healthcare workers during Easter weekend.
The Surfrider Malibu prepared 450 meals for Easter weekend for area healthcare workers. Included with the meals were random "golden tickets" offering a complimentary stay at the Malibu hotel.
Heather Warthen, Contributing Editor
8:00 am PDT April 15, 2020

When it came to showing area healthcare workers their gratitude for their work during the coronavirus pandemic, The Surfrider Malibu owners Matthew and Emma Goodwin wanted to do something a little bit extra for Easter. 

“We wanted to do more than just meals for Easter as our way of saying thank you for everything the healthcare heroes are doing and so we decided to make it more exciting for them by adding ‘Golden Tickets’ to the bottom of some randomly selected meals,” said Emma, adding it was a play on the famous Willy Wonka golden tickets. “The finder would receive a complimentary stay at The Surfrider Hotel [to be used down the track of course], so that we can take care of them, as a thank you for taking care of us during this period.”

The gift of a complimentary stay at the 20-room boutique hotel that sits across from the famous Surfrider Beach was bound to make a big impact.

“When we were thinking about what more we could do with what we had to offer at the time, this felt like the most obvious with the biggest impact,” Emma said. “It could put an immediate smile on the healthcare worker’s faces during the tough times and then, another smile, when it’s all over and they are kicking up their feet on the Surfrider roof deck looking with a cocktail in hand.”

Through Frontline Foods Los Angeles, Chef Jacob Wetherington and cooks Alfredo Santiago and Victor Membreno put together 450 meals for Easter weekend. The meals included a Thai chicken curry, vegetarian Thai green curry, pasta primavera and ginger scallion noodles with shrimp. Employees Derek Savoie, Chloe Mills and Shannon Grover also helped to make sure the meals were made and delivered over the three-day period.

“We did dinners this time. We can’t wait to do it again at breakfast time and deliver our famous brekky burrito,” Emma said. 

During the pandemic, Emma said they have been able to keep their team employed and figured with the absence of guests, they could work together to do some good for “people putting themselves on the line for all of us.”

“We are all in hospitality because we genuinely love making people happy, taking care of people,” she said. “Just because we can’t do that the way we usually do, doesn’t mean we can’t do it. 

“We believe in the power of community, humanity and that one single act of kindness can slowly change the world.”

The kindness of the hotel’s “golden tickets” spread to their guests who quickly jumped in to help.

“In a beautiful act of human kindness, when we announced this, some of our guests asked to get involved and also gifted stays at The Surfrider so that there were more to go around,” Emma said. “On the first day, when people found out what we were doing, we had an overwhelming number of people reach out to ask how they could help and get involved. It was really beautiful and such a sign of humanity coming together. 

“Due to working in very small teams to ensure we are keeping each other safe, we couldn’t have others help with the actual cooking, packing, delivering and so we thought that this would be a nice way for them to be able to pay it forward and add some excitement for Easter.” 

One of the winners, according to Emma, was an ICU respiratory therapist. She also added that they are planning to share winners photos with the families who gifted the stays.

This isn’t the first time the hotel has worked to lend aid to others. After the Woolsey Fire struck Malibu, the Surfrider donated rooms to people who had lost or were unable to access their homes. They also have held a charity barbecue to raise money for the Malibu Boys & Girls Club.

“Basically, just trying to do our part, keep the vibes as high as possible given the circumstances and the good times rolling in the way we know how while we get through this together,” Emma said of their Easter weekend meals and “golden tickets.”

Additionally, the hotel created an online store for some of their items, including their custom candles and Surfrider boardshorts available at

Emma also said as part of their “virtual vacation,” they’ve created a series of playlists on their Surfrider Spotify account such as “Sunrise Sessions,” “Endless Summer,” “Apres Surf” and “Night Swims.”

For more information, visit