Michelle Pusa, Sophie, JOE discussed on Voices of the Community


This episode is part of our series exploring covid nineteen impact on nonprofits and small businesses in san francisco. We started the series back in april of twenty twenty during the height of the first phase of the covid nineteen pandemic and the shelter in place requirements over these past nine months the covid nineteen pandemic an economic meltdown has wiped out millions of jobs in both the nonprofit in small business sectors as well shuddered tens of thousands of small business operations the goal of the series to shine the spotlight on the nonprofits small businesses and their staff who are struggling to deal with the impact of the covid nineteen pandemic on their operations services and sustainability the series of interviews we conducted features voices from a cross section of organizations that make up the fabric of our community each of them brings a unique perspective on how they and we are dealing with the issues facing our community during the global pandemic an economic depression. Yes it's a pandemic and yes. We have to stay safe but we have to learn how to help each other. We have to learn how to support each other's businesses. We have to learn how to sweat each other's families and we have to learn again how to grow. Small businesses can. Because i think right now the government's focusing on the bottom down and the bottom down out small businesses where we should be focusing on the bottom up because that's where the economic recovery is gonna come from in this episode are featured voice. Is michelle pusa terry from nanna. Joe's granola nanna. Joe's coonoor is a wonderful example of a local manufacturing startup that has been incubated through. Sf made his owner brings her passion for both healthy natural foods. Importing the community before profits. Which is why at nanotubes. Granola every employee is making above minimum wage. I joined remotely via sim by michelle. Who atari from manages granola. Thanks for being here. Michelle and i think people would love to know why you started editorials granola and can you tell us a little bit about sophie. Gold award is so i started non-judgmental it back in two thousand and ten with the hopes of bringing back whole food ingredients into package food world on the grocery store shelves. I noticed that a lot bulls granola on. The shelves had a ton of sugar. Some additives preservatives. And really it started with me surfing and wanting to really go out and has a lot of energy and i'm hypoglycemic and i'm really sensitive to sugar so i thought you know what i'm gonna just create. I'm a trained pastry chef. And i didn't know. I didn't make it myself to begin with but i started making my own. Granola in as everybody's stories goes friends family loved it. They found that they were having energy. A lot of people told me that they didn't have to eat lunch. And that was mainly. What i was going for was using whole food ingredients and not having any additives or preservatives or a ton of cane sugar. And we don't use any sugars. We just one sophie award. It's our third sophie awards. We went to this year. We won the gold for one of our paleo orange which is my personal favorite and then we won the bronze for paleo so we did a collaboration with hugh chocolate based out of new york and it's delicious and then we also have a silver one from two thousand eighteen. So that's kind of why. I started on just granola and why i firmly believe that if you build a business inside the community like the dog patch doc in two thousand twelve. It was much different. If you build a community that way. I really feel like you have to support them. And that's where community before profit came in light to. Can you talk a little bit more about into the other. Big question is how has been impacted your operation in. He the staff of people that you have to help make the magic of jobs so before profit started that i can think it was two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen. It's a website. I'm been working on it but just haven't had a lot of time. But i was noticing that a lot of people were feeling isolated in lost in the service industry. I grew up in the service industry. Since i was fifteen. I was front of the house for a very long time moved from you. Know being a barista back in nineteen eighty seven. Which wasn't cool to being. You know a waitress and then a bartender and just that party life you know. And i made a decision when i moved to san francisco to get sober and two thousand fifteen. Two thousand sixteen there was about four or five people who committed suicide during that time. And i think my mentality on my business on to treat people on how to look at people and how to really support other people in this industry. It's hard it's isolating. There's so many places to hide when you're in the service industry you hide behind a smile behind the bar. Nobody knows what's happening. And i think community before profit has kind of morphed into coming more towards not joe's to of being like during the pandemic when march seventh hit. I didn't lay off any employees at in furlough any employees at it. Lay off any employees. A lot of my employees family members weren't working either so i felt a huge responsibility to hold their jobs to make sure that they were still getting paid to do whatever i had to do to make sure that they were getting paid so basically i went from supporting families to supporting. You know all fifty people. I employ ten people in most people have at least five people on their family. So it may that community before prophet a little bit more real to me and a little bit more like i have a responsibility when i employ somebody. I don't just employ them just for them to get the job done. I employ them to give them the tools they need to succeed to give them the tools they need to never have to work another entry level job again

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