Egg McMuffin sales to help SB Neighborhood Clinics and COVID-19 vaccinations
David Peterson remembers that day back in 1971 at the McDonalds on upper State Street when his father, Herb Peterson, was revealing his creation.
The Egg McMuffin.
McDonalds Corp. founder Ray Kroc couldn’t eat enough of them.
Herb was presenting his convenient, hand-held version of an Eggs Benedict to Mr. Kroc, who had a ranch in Santa Barbara and visited the city often.
“If you know anything about Ray Kroc, he had a huge personality. He had at least four Egg McMuffins and said, ‘Herb, we’ve got to do it!’ ” David Peterson told the News-Press.
“Three weeks later, my dad went to Chicago with his chef’s costume and his egg ring — it was the genius behind the deal because it kept the egg from running everywhere — and made it for the board of directors. It sold nationally, and today breakfast is 35 percent of our business.”
David is honoring his father, who died in 2008 at age 89, with the annual Herb Peterson Day. On Friday, Egg McMuffins will sell for $2 with a minimum order of five of them at the various McDonalds in Santa Barbara and Goleta.
It’s a tradition David started more than a decade ago, but this year, there’s a twist. All of the profits from the special sales will go to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“I’ve committed to personally, whether we raise it or not, give $2,000. Hopefully we’ll do more than that,” said David, a Montecito resident who owns the two McDonalds in Goleta. He noted his employees get care at the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.
Dr. Charles Fenzi, the clinics’ CEO and chief medical officer, expressed his gratitude for McDonalds’ help during a conference call that included David Peterson and the News-Press.
“This is really awesome,” Dr. Fenzi told David. “Thank you for setting this up.”
Dr. Fenzi said the money will be a big help with the clinics’ vaccination efforts.
“We’ve already done three vaccination events, and we’re planning many more,” he told the News-Press.
Dr. Fenzi said the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics first vaccinated its approximately 150-member staff. Next, the clinics vaccinated 41 healthcare workers at Planned Parenthood.
Last weekend, the clinics vaccinated 220 people, which included those who are 75 and older and its patients who are healthcare workers, Dr. Fenzi said.
Dr. Fenzi said the next vaccination event will depend on when the clinics get the next batch of doses. “As you know, the pipeline is trickling right now. I understand it’s really going to get ramped up, and I can’t wait.
“We’re working on a volunteer force that will allow us to do vaccines every day,” he said. “Our estimate would be if we can get this running completely, we could do perhaps 5,000 or 6,000 vaccinations a week.”
Dr. Fenzi said the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics serve more than a thousand patients who are 75 and older. After they are vaccinated, the clinics will move on to the 65-75 age group, and Dr. Fenzi said those vaccinations could happen as soon as mid-February, provided the clinics receive the needed number of doses.
David said Herb would be happy that the Herb Peterson Day sales are helping the Neighborhood Clinics. “My dad would love this cause. It’s a perfect fit.”
David noted his father served on the board of the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic, which merged in 1998 with Sansum Medical Clinic. In 2006, the merged clinic became known as Sansum Clinic, and its CEO and chief medical officer today is Dr. Kurt Ransohoff, whom David noted was his father’s physician.
He added that his father liked helping many nonprofits, ranging from the Santa Barbara Zoo to the Special Olympics. “There isn’t a jog-a-thon we haven’t participated in. My dad loved this town and loved to give back to it.
“He was a pied piper in town,” David said, noting people often tell him, “I knew your dad. He was my best friend.”
“He just had that charm and that way. He loved Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara loved him,” David said, adding, “The Egg McMuffin was the love of his life.
“He wasn’t very humble when it came to the Egg McMuffin,” David said, chuckling.
The Egg McMuffin remains popular. The 310-calorie treat consists of an English muffin toasted to perfection, Canadian bacon, American cheese, a poached egg and butter, David said.
Dr. Fenzi noted he’s a fan of the Egg McMuffin. “It has a unique flavor. I think it’s the cheese that does that. And it’s on top of an English muffin.
“English muffins are one of my favorite breakfast dishes anyway. Combine that with the egg and the ham, and it’s just wonderful.”