Hey everyone! (And Mom!, Hi Mom!) It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when you thought that maybe the economy was looking up and that you might BUY holiday gifts this year instead of making them all out of newspaper and popsicle sticks like you had to last year because you have $20 in your bank account until next payday (when your rent is due)?
Uh-huh, I’m there too. In fact, most of us are. You may or may not know this, but all of us business owners here at the mini-mall donated more money (gift certificates, food donations, our time, and straight up cash money) than we took home as paychecks this year. I’ve tried to be as honest as I can on this blog about what it’s like to run an ethical small business without boring you to death. And let me tell you, spending 3 straight days trying to source vegan, gluten free, possibly soy free pie crusts in large quantities is BOOOORING when you type it all out. But the truth of the matter is, we are all struggling right now. The last couple of years have made it difficult to scrape by on savings that barely exist anymore, and a couple of super slow weeks can really take a toll on the stability of our businesses. We all try really hard not to ask for help, because we know that when it comes down to it, we are “for profit” businesses, but we give back as much as we can to our community, and the animals, and our friends that need help.
The point of this rambling is, we’re not asking for anything special, just PLEASE COME TO THE MINI MALL AND BUY SOMETHING! Stop by Food Fight for a snack, or a Tofurky pizza for an after work quick dinner so Chad will stop having all those worried wrinkles on his forehead! Buy someone you love a cookbook from Herbivore instead of buying it on Amazon so Josh and Michelle can buy that house in the Hamptons they have always dreamed of! (kidding, haha, right?!) Come to the bakery and order a pie, or just order a latte so I can keep providing jobs for 13 AWESOME vegan people! Buy someone you know without a tattoo a gift certificate to Scapegoat and tell them it’s finally time to step up and FIT IN in Portland! (kidding again, i love you non-tattooed people, your skin is so naked looking!)
I really do know it’s tough for everyone right now, and every vegan business owner I know is struggling to hold it all together. We all love Portland, and we love our supportive, welcoming, proud to be so awesome community. Hopefully this is a gentle reminder that where you spend your hard earned $$ DOES matter, and when you spend it with us, it goes to vegan employees, our vegan families, and back into our vegan products. And we recycle it back into donations as much as we can.
OK! Thanks for reading this, if you made it all the way. Now, go, have a SouthEast PDX Vegan day! Eat lunch at Blossoming Lotus, get a milkshake at Sip, eat dinner at Portobello, swing by the mini-mall for some coffee, treats, shirts and things, then pass out on the couch at Scapegoat, where they will let you sleep off the food coma.
And for fun, and to make you feel nostalgic, and because this was a long blog post without pictures, here are some old pictures of fun times!