I can’t be the only person who opens up their P&L, not realizing I am holding my breath. I wonder how many other businesses feel that as viscerally as we do as restaurant owners.
Othon and his business partners at Va’La Hospitality saw that the lockdown would destroy the industry. They felt it coming. A slew of GoFundMes were being created to save the owners and FOH staff of restaurants in the community. But what about BOH staff? The barbacks, dishwashers, porters, and cleaners. Those unsung heroes of our restaurants who are often undocumented, hard-working souls that kept our businesses running.
They saw the suffering among these forgotten communities and set out to feed the families of undocumented hospitality workers for one week.
“It was born out of frustration of not knowing how to support the most vulnerable. We decided to feed people directly. We asked our friends who are undocumented and unemployed and decided to make meals for them. Originally we wanted to feed people one time. My partner Damien then came up with the idea of making this a family thing. We costed everything out until we could feed a family of four for a week for $33.”
Their non-profit now has over 300 families on their books. I so admire the dedication Othon and his partners have. But the really heart-warming part is how this work has transformed his outlook on life.
“I find joy in running a non-profit. I am working so much but I love giving back. My short term future is growing this non-profit and becoming great at the things I’m not good at yet. It’s so fulfilling!”