The past two months have been particularly hard on the food and beverage industry, everyone from restaurants and bars to the distributors.
With a relaxation in regulation, bars have started selling to-go cocktails and breweries are now doing residential deliveries. Many restaurants have completely overhauled their menus for to-go orders, inserted themselves into philanthropically-funded initiatives to feed frontline health workers, and even turned to selling groceries. Everyone's making radical changes all while having to navigate the significant stress and uncertainty that comes with just trying to stay afloat.
Distributors have a similar but different problem, and most have figured out that they, too, need to go direct to consumer while the restaurants are shut down. But, they don't have an existing IRL or online storefront, so many have had to make do with Shopify or, better yet: Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
I've mostly been shopping at local groceries and bodegas, but this week I decided to branch out and help support some of these food entrepreneurs.
While we're not out of the woods quite yet, I hope someone with a bit more ambition than me might go about capturing the stories of these local entrepreneurs in some way. I'm not sure there's a better example of creative problem solving and the grit and perseverence required to make things work under any circumstances.
Here's more on Asian Veggies owner, Joe Boo, who setup a Shopify store to start delivering produced sourced from his dad's wholesale business:
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