Protect Small Business

Small businesses need our support, now more than ever.

 

For the past few weeks, we’ve seen our favorite restaurants close their doors, our neighbors lose their jobs, friends and family struggle to make ends meet and we thought, “What can we do to help?” We decided to use the best resource we have - our ability to tell stories and give a voice to people who need it most.

As a company, we have been fortunate enough to film with small businesses both in our backyard and across the globe. The small business owners we’ve met have welcomed us into their homes, given us an intimate look at the companies they’ve poured their hearts and souls into, and entrusted us to tell some of their most personal stories. It has been one of the greatest privileges of our lives to meet these extraordinary people.

We’re optimists and storytellers, and we’re hoping that by sharing their stories along with practical ways that you can help, we can protect these small business leaders and the families they support.

These are their stories.

Highway Inn

Oahu, HI

While in an internment camp during World War II, Seiichi Toguchi learned how to cook from fellow Japanese-Americans. After being released, he moved back to Hawaii and opened a restaurant. For three generations, the Toguchi family—including Seiichi’s son Bobby and granddaughter Monica—have served up a spirit of aloha at Highway Inn, an Oahu institution with three outposts. Though guests won’t be able to dine in until after statewide restrictions have been lifted, they can still order takeout and carryout food as well as family meal packs of ribs, stew, chicken, and Kalua pig.

How You Can Help:

Order takeout or delivery from any one of their three locations
Buy vacuum-sealed family meal packs that can be frozen for up to six months
• Purchase shirts, hats, sea salt, mugs, and more from the online gift store
Purchase a gift card for future use or as gift for a friends and family  

John’s Crazy Socks

Huntington, New York

John Cronin, a young man with Down Syndrome, teamed up with his father Mark to found John’s Crazy Socks, a sock delivery business with a mission to spread happiness and create quality jobs for differently abled individuals. Only a few workers can be in the facility at any given time because of the new COVID-19 restrictions New York State has implemented, but the father-and-son team are thankful that they have not had to lay off any of their employees. Despite the extra precautions they must now take, John and Mark remain committed to offering customers a dose of happiness in the form of colorful, playful socks.

How You Can Help:

Buy a pair of socks online
• Join the ‘Sock of the Month Club,’ in which fun, new pairs are sent to you monthly
Design your own socks and share the design on social media using the hashtags #FutureSockDesigner and #JohnsCrazySocks

Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Hamilton, MO

To bring much-needed cheer into Jenny Doan’s life after she lost her life savings in the 2008 stock market crash, her children bought her a sewing machine. Jenny started posting YouTube sewing tutorials and soon amassed a faithful following who tuned in to learn her tried-and-true quilting tips and tricks. Jenny opened a brick-and-mortar location that carried the fabric and materials used in her video tutorials, and Missouri Star Quilt Co. quickly grew to become the world’s largest provider of precut fabrics. The Doan family has temporarily closed their shops due to public health safety reasons, but they are still safely staffing their factory to meet the demand of online orders (while making sure to properly space out employees to ensure everyone stays safe). Missouri Star Quilt Co. has not laid off any of its 400 team members, and they are still producing video content so that both novice and expert quilters can make the most of their time at home.

How You Can Help:

• Watch one of Jenny’s tutorials on YouTube (and share the link with a friend who loves quilting!)
• Purchase fabric and materials online from Missouri Star Quilt Co. 
• Find out if your local hospital is seeking surplus face masks. If so, Jenny will teach you how to make them!

Honest Soul Yoga

Alexandria, VA

After retiring from the Air Force, Suzie Mills found inner healing through taking yoga classes. Eager to serve her community in a new way, she founded Honest Soul Yoga in 2013 to offer civilians and veterans alike a more holistic way to keep their bodies and spirits feeling whole.

In the past few years, Suzie’s community focused approach has fostered a sense of connection and camaraderie among her yoga students, and she has opened three new studios. Because Honest Soul Yoga studios can no longer remain open due to public safety reasons, Suzie and her staff have moved their business online with donation-based live-streamed and recorded yoga and meditation sessions that adults and children alike can participate in at home.

How You Can Help:

• Take an online yoga class (and make a donation)
• Buy shirts, bras, and other products from Honest Soul Yoga’s online store

Vic’s Italian Restaurant

Bradley Beach, NJ

At Vic’s Italian Restaurant, food is a family affair. For over 73 years, the owners—including current co-owner Ed Dollive and his daughter and son-in-law, Travis and Chrissie Semblewski— have used recipes passed down from the family matriarch. Beloved for its welcoming environment and homemade pastas, pizzas, and entrees, Vic’s Italian Restaurant has long been a popular gathering spot. While the family has had to temporarily reduce staff since the restaurant is currently only open for delivery and takeout, they look forward to welcoming all of their employees and patrons back into the historic establishment as soon as it is safe to do so.

How You Can Help:

Order takeout or delivery if you live in the Bradley Beach area 
• Buy a gift card online

Zkano

Fort Payne, AL

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Fort Payne, Alabama was once known as the “Sock Capital of the World,” with over 300 mills that employed half the town. When textile manufacturing began to move overseas in the early 2000s, the small town suffered a massive economic downturn. Determined to carry on Fort Payne’s rich sockmaking heritage, Gina Locklear opened Zkano Socks, a family-owned business that knits certified organic cotton socks in small batches. Sales have recently decreased since the boutiques selling the product have  closed in the wake of COVID-19, but the company is still fulfilling online orders as well as through curbside service at its mill.

How You Can Help:

• Buy socks online from Zkano’s website… and maybe surprise a friend with a pair! 
• Post pictures of your Zkano socks on Instagram and tag Zkano so your friends can learn about their products too 
• Purchase a gift card 
• Sign up for the rewards program. If you’re a rewards member, refer a friend to Zkano (you’ll get a $15 coupon to use anytime on their website once your friend has placed their order, and they’ll receive 10% off their purchase)

Honest Chops

New York City, NY

Unable to find high-quality halal meat options in New York City, three friends—Russell Khan, Bassam Tariq, and Khalid Latif—banded together to open a butcher shop and burger joint with meat sourced from farmers in the tri-state area. While the burger shop has now switched to a delivery-only format because of COVID-19, the butcher shop is open during regular business hours since it is classified as a grocery store. Serving the community they love has long been the backbone of their business, so Honest Chops has committed to paying employees regular wages despite reduced hours, offering free meals to underprivileged children and hospital workers, and raising money for low-income families across America through a LaunchGood campaign.

How You Can Help:

• If you live in New York City, you can order meat online to be delivered to your doorstep
• Donate money to the LaunchGood campaign

Other Small Businesses We Love

Kombucha On Tap

Vista, CA

In 2014, husband-and-wife team Jared and Deanne Gustafson turned their passion for healthy living into a livelihood by founding Kombucha On Tap, a full-service keg distributor of premium on tap products such as kombucha, tea, nitro cold brew coffee, and more. Their wellness-based business quickly took off, and by the beginning of 2020 they had a team of 12 and two warehouses - one in San Diego and one in LA. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Southern California, they lost about 90% of their sales overnight and had to temporarily lay off more than half their team. Instead of being defeated, they adapted by creating a website offering free doorstep delivery to homes in their local area. Functioning as a modern-day Milkman service (except with healthier beverages and products), the Kombucha on Tap team is now offering free doorstep delivery to homes in Encinitas, Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside, and San Marcos as well as dropping off surprise growlers of kombucha and cold brew coffee to health care workers and first responders who are the real heroes right now.

How You Can Help:

Order free doorstep delivery if you live in North County San Diego or get drive-up pickup at the Vista warehouse. You can also arrange for an immune-boosting drink to be delivered to a friend who lives in Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, or Encinitas.
• Subscribe to the newsletter to learn more about current products and delivery options.

 

Progressive Motion Physiotherapy

Menlo Park, CA

Being a Bay Area sports fan, Joey knows what it's like to be the underdog. After a lifetime of playing sports and being fascinated with the way movement can make people feel better and happier, he took a big risk and opened his own state-of-the-art physical therapy practice in 2014 with his best friend Josh. As the father of three little ones (two girls and a boy), Josh understands the complexities of working from home while at the same time trying to homeschool and keep his kids from destroying the house. Physical health is something that needs to be a priority as more of us are moving our bodies less or in unusual ways to accommodate our new WFH situations. Their passion for making people feel better combined with their expertise as doctors is something they want to help bring to more people. From one-on-one sessions to community workshops, Joey and Josh have empowered clients of all ages to transform their lives through improved movement. Since their clinic is temporarily closed for public safety reasons, they are offering virtual sessions on Instagram and Facebook.

How You Can Help:

• Book a one-on-one virtual movement session through Zoom or FaceTime  
• Participate in a membership-based Facebook group, which includes an online mobility class and community board to help members stay on track with their goals. (A portion of the fees will be donated to a local charity in East Palo Alto). For information about how to join the Facebook group, email dr.joey@pmpt14.com or dr.josh@pmpt14.com.

 

ARTIRE Mobile

Fremont, CA

Originally conceived as a mobile tire service company in Silicon Valley, ARTIRE Mobile has since expanded to a permanent automotive location that offers wheel alignments, new tire services, and more. Founded by Rhyss Valera, Patrick Castillo, and Ardeine Bustamante, the family-owned company has earned a loyal following because of its competitive prices, friendly employees, and expert service. Because repair shops are considered essential businesses, ARTIRE Mobile is still open for business despite California’s shelter in place ordinance. To ensure safety, the team is frequently sterilizing their facility throughout the day and only taking one appointment at a time.

How You Can Help:

• If your car needs to be worked on, schedule an appointment
• Purchase tires, car batteries, and other items from their online store

 

The Sarap Shop

San Francisco, CA

Inspired by the way good food can bring people together, JP Reyes and Kristen Brillantes began hosting popup culinary experiences where they served Filipino-American comfort cuisine. At each popup, they offered side-by-side omnivore and vegan menus to introduce individuals to Filipino food. After deciding to bring their food to the masses, they opened a food truck in San Francisco in just six days. In addition to cultivating a dedicated following of foodies who love their pork belly adobo sandwiches and fries, The Sarap Shop opened a permanent location at Chase Center.

While working out a contingency plan to help their business survive the impact of COVID-19, JP and Kristen used the remaining perishable inventory they had on hand to make meals for local healthcare workers. They are now selling work from home meal kits (the menu changes weekly and often incorporates items from other local businesses) as well as creating lists of how to support restaurants on their social media pages. JP and Kristen also started a fund to provide grants and business services to other small business owners as they pivot and rebuild in the aftermath of COVID-19.

How You Can Help:

• Buy a WFH Meal Kit for pickup or delivery
• Purchase a gift card
• Purchase tote bags, shirts, and other swag from their online gift store
• Sign up to donate time, money, or referrals to the Sarap Shop Isang Bagsak Community Fund (details are available on the website)

 

Crawford’s

Los Angeles, CA

Opened in 2016 by Dustin Lancaster, Dave Abrams, Michael Blackman, and Matt Dittman, Crawford’s was envisioned as a hole-in-the-wall dive bar serving up fried chicken, southern-style sides, and ice-cold beer. The dive bar quickly became a second home to many locals who flocked there for the $3 beers and fried chicken and ended up staying for the cozy, laid-back atmosphere and some of the friendliest bartenders in Los Angeles. Since the bar has had to close due to the current pandemic, the owners created a GoFundMe to support themselves and their families during these difficult times.

How You Can Help:

Donate to the GoFundMe to support the staff and their families

 

Millcross Coffee Bar & Kitchen

Culver City, CA

Created as a specialty coffee shop, Millcross Coffee Bar & Kitchen is dedicated to sourcing and selling the best beans from top coffee-growing regions around the world. As a multi-roaster coffee shop, they offer coffee from both local and international roasters, and a roast of their own is in the works. Regulars love pairing the coffee with their brunch items, toasts, and melts. In response to COVID-19, the team has set up a pop up market to share their provisions and they've partnered up with @BakersKneaded to provide locals with fresh loaves of some of the best bread in Los Angeles.

How You Can Help:

• Visit them in Culver to grab a coffee and pastry to go
• Purchase food, toilet paper, and other products from their pop up market

 

Alana’s Coffee

Mar Vista, CA

Tucked into a trendy neighborhood on the Westside, this hip coffee shop serves house-roasted coffee, espresso drinks, and baked goods. Despite COVID-19, the shop is still open for to-go orders.

How You Can Help:

• Place a mobile order for pick up 
• Purchase coffee beans from their website

 

Book Soup

West Hollywood, CA

Book Soup is an independent bookstore originally founded in 1975. The neighborhood favorite is known for selling books to celebrities and customers in all segments of the entertainment industry. Known for its sky-high bookshelves and nook-y vibe, it’s the perfect place for book lovers to get lost in exploration. Though the store has nearly closed at various times over the years, faithful fans have helped keep it afloat. The owners are hopeful that the community support will again help the business survive this present, turbulent time.

How You Can Help:

• Purchase a book online
• Purchase a gift card
• If you make purchases from Libro.fm, MyMustRead e-books, and Corkcicle, Book Soup will receive a portion of the proceeds
• Donations can be made via the Book Soup website

 

10 Speed Coffee

Calabasas, CA, and Santa Monica, CA

With locations in both Calabasas and Santa Monica, 10 Speed Coffee is a bicycle-themed coffee company that roasts small-batch beans, serves high-quality coffee, and supports cycling culture through sponsoring local riders, events, and national races. While 10 Speed Coffee has currently reduced their hours of operation, they are still available for pick up and delivery orders.

How You Can Help:

• Purchase food items (including eggs, avocados, chili, and soup) from their pop up grocery store
• Order coffee for delivery or pick up
• Buy coffee beans
• Purchase a gift card online to use at a future date
• Order water bottles, shirts, coffee, and other merchandise from their online store
• Purchase a gift card

 

Tubby's Tavern

Whittier, CA

Tubby’s Tavern is the kind of dive bar that turns one-time visitors into regulars because of its relaxed atmosphere, classic bar food, and vast drink selection. You’ll want to come for the friendly bartenders and stay for a game of pool. The bar is currently still open for takeout orders.

How You Can Help:

• Order food for take out