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A Thanks to Community!

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As a nanny who spent over 3 years working in the Hollywood District (going to the Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar, Hollywood Library, etc. almost every weekday) and a vegan of 6 years (almost as long as I’ve lived in Portland), there are some communities I feel I need to say a big thanks to for their support over the last few weeks. I have been working on this post for 2 weeks, it’s hard to find the right words…

My first thank you goes to the community of the Hollywood District in general, for supporting Whitney Baskins, a barista-turned owner who took the coffee shop she worked for and managed to make it even better. The people of the Hollywood District, especially the librarians, have been so supportive and dedicated to her and it’s amazing to watch. Thank you for showing myself and Whitney something we already suspected: When a small business owner works in their shop, involves the neighborhood, and hosts events supportive of the local culture, the community will enthusiastically be there to support that owner and the business.

My second thank you goes specifically to the healthy eaters of the Hollywood District. Whitney worked hard with Heidi Lovig (who made all the spreads and vegan cheeses on the new menu) to make healthy food options available in Hollywood, and she has received a lot of thanks from the neighbors, residents or workers, for filling that missing option.

My last and biggest thank you goes to my fellow Portland vegan community! When Whitney first asked me for help launching her new menu at Jazzkat’s, I turned to Janessa and Webly for help making sure Heidi’s vegan cheese was up to snuff. They worked with me to plan a private tasting a couple weeks before the menu launching and they each gave honest feedback to Heidi about her vegan spreads and cheeses, as well as some no-nonsense advice on her soon-to-be-launching, vegan cheese company. I was so excited to help my friend Whitney get her new menu off the ground and even more excited to see a woman planning to start a locally made vegan cheese company, because I feel guilty every time I pick up FYH or Daiya, knowing how far it has to travel to hit my shopping basket. It was inspiring to know that Janessa and Webly were just as interested in offering their support. Janessa and Webly are such dedicated and helpful women who really back their ideas and values with their time and consideration. From there, countless Portland vegans have popped into Jazzkat’s to support the new menu that includes us in every way. In just the first week into promoting the new menu and one week before the menu’s actually launch, Whitney told me her sales were up 40%!!! That is amazing. Let no Portland business sell short the vegan demand in Portland.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting my friend and local businesses that invest in their communities. You are all amazing!

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