San Diego’s small businesses are struggling, but that hasn’t stopped them from giving back to their staff and their community. In the spirit of the season, these six local businesses are paying it forward with creative initiatives, GoFundMe campaigns, and more. Read on to show them some love and see how you can support their efforts!
Cloak & Petal is giving back to front-line workers and first responders with dinner packages fit for every occasion. There are three to choose from, which send two, three, or four meals to those essential workers, respectively. The Notorious has light bites and cocktails, the Emperor’s Bounty adds sake bombs and crunchy rolls to that menu, and the Kaiju Feast bumps it up to a sushi platter and six cocktails of choice.
1953 India Street, Little Italy
The Mira Mesa coffee shop looked to their tight-knit community for help finding ways they could give back. The result is a “Post-It forward” initiative, where you can purchase an extra drink for someone in need in addition to your own. That someone can come in, take a drink order from the wall of Post-Its, and bring it to the counter to receive it for free. It’s a simple gesture, but one that owner Jimmy Silva says was a no-brainer: “Without the support of this community we wouldn’t be able to continue to be open and overcome the challenges that COVID-19 has brought.” Jaunt Coffee Roasters is also doing a 12 Days of Giveaways promotion on their Instagram page for more ways to spread some holiday cheer.
8680 Miralani Drive, Suite 134, Mira Mesa
During this difficult time, Madison is giving 100 percent of their gross revenue—not profit—to their staff, donating gift card sales to them, and has set up a GoFundMe where donations will be quadruple-matched by the owners. The University Heights restaurant began this initiative at the beginning of the pandemic, before the restaurant was able to reopen in adherence to state guidelines over the summer. Support their efforts by ordering takeout directly through the restaurant or through third-party apps for delivery.
4622 Park Boulevard, University Heights
Rise & Shine is looking out for San Diegans who’ve been hit by the recession. Anyone who was laid off during the pandemic can head down to Breakfast Republic’s Mission Valley location between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day to receive a free prepped dinner. Over the past few months, the restaurant has made 6,479 meals and raised over $50,000 through Rise & Shine’s nonprofit organization. Haven’t been laid off? If you have the means, why not order your next breakfast to go from them?
1570 Camino de la Reina, Mission Valley
In addition to serving up some delicious vegan food (see: Spicy Boy sandwich) made from all fresh, organic ingredients, this food truck is making its mark by putting community first. When you order something for yourself, ask for a Veggie Gang Meal to receive a free meal for someone in need. Owner Avonte also offers a pay-what-you-can option to combat the stigma that vegan food is only for those with higher incomes. If you want to help support his efforts you can purchase a meal to go, donate money to their Venmo account, or donate fresh veggies and produce for their free meal service.
8040 Armour Street, Kearny Mesa
Looking for ways to help the restaurant industry? Buy a hospitality worker a steak dinner through Rare Society’s Industry Steak Night To-Go Edition. Every Wednesday, Trust Restaurant Group turns out these meals for workers to pick up at a prescheduled time. Last week they sold out at 200 meals; they hope to serve 300 next week. Help them reach their goal or, if you’re a hospitality worker, see how you can redeem your dinner. The dinners are reserved on a first-come basis.
4130 Park Boulevard, University Heights