Boy from Bethel steps up to help local restaurants

Boy steps up to help local restaurants
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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BETHEL, CT (WFSB) - A boy in Bethel has taken it upon himself to help restaurants in his area.

He started at the beginning of the pandemic because of the dire need.

Now he’s still tasting his way across his community.

11-year-old Nicky Zooks will eat just about anything.

“I just loved Bizarre Foods, everything from like blood sausage, liver, cow’s heart,” said Nicky.

His mother says he started young.

“He was little. He had some palate on him. I would give him anything,” said Mary Ellen Zaccagno, Nicky’s mom.

He ate it, no matter what.

“When I saw businesses shutting down, I just knew I had to help,” Nicky said.

When the pandemic hit, he decided to put his talented sense of taste to the test, using it to help others.

“I just try new things. I’m not grossed out by anything,” said Nicky.

In March 2020, he started reviewing restaurants.

He posted his reviews on his YouTube channel called Nicky Will Eat It, giving local eateries a much-needed boost.

“The Bagel Barn in New Milford was a hit!” said Nicky.

His dad bought-in immediately.

“For me, it hit, because I was in the food business for a long time. I lost my deli in 2008-2009. When he said that to me, I said, ‘let’s do it,’” said Dino Zaccagno, Nicky’s dad.

Nicky ate his way across the town, going business to business. His dad filmed each tasting.

Nicky then posted the videos to his more than 1,500 subscribers.

He’s got more than 100 videos on his channel right now.

In June the town council proclaimed him Bethel’s honorary food ambassador.

Fast forward to this day, he’s reviewing a cafe that just opened in Bethel this summer.

Nicky’s goodwill was so impressive, it reached our nation’s capital.

Someone wrote to President Joe Biden about what Nicky was doing. What Nicky and his parents didn’t expect was that the president wrote back.

The letter was addressed to Nicky Zaccagno, his real name.

It was a letter with a message not lost on Nicky, giving him more motivation that belies his age.

“I just think you can never stop helping,” Nicky said.

A young boy helping others with his unique taste. Perhaps the sweetest gift of all.

If you know of a Great Kid, let Wendell know. You can email him at