I get sucked into Facebook. Now don’t get me wrong. I rely on Facebook for our cafe social media campaigns. How else would I know what is being ‘liked’ in the world if not for Facebook. However, I can’t help growing increasingly concerned about where we as a population fixate our energies. Naturally the posts I receive are more in line with my interests. ‘Big Brother and Sister’ definitely have tapped into my key words and frequent searches to send me either direct hits or sidebar advertising targeted at my interests in diet, live plant-based foods, health and wellness, and music. But then there are my many ‘friends’ whom I know are focused in other areas and their posts awaken me to a broader world view.
I know that most of my ‘friends’ should and do share my perspective or at least moderately tolerate my posts before they decide not to view me actively any longer. Many are reliable and steadfast in their responses and feedback which provides me with the confidence to keep posting. So how does this translate into the real world?
Our cafe is the real world for me at the moment. Rather than people clicking a thumbs up they walk with their feet – either through our door or past the window. We have our loyal daily customers who we rely upon and also regard as ‘friends’. We know their favourite drinks and entrees. We know what desserts will keep them coming back. We know peripherally what’s happening in their world. We try to spend time listening, reflecting, and commenting. We appreciate their feedback and advice. We regard them as collaborative agents of change in a business that is continually evolving and regenerating in response to community demand.
And then there are the new customers who ask many questions. Who are curious, concerned, cautious, adventuresome, delighted, and thankful. Repeatedly I have seen our chefs spend individual time with our customers as they consult about ingredients, nutritional advice, and food preparation techniques. Entering into a new culinary experience of live plant-based foods is more than just a fast-food grab and gulp. It is an investment in your personal well-being. And at the cafe, we thrive on that commitment. We relish those moments. They energize us. They make us realize we are more than just a cafe. We are a lifestyle opportunity.
I then begin to add up what this kind of time and attention is worth in the public market. Are we equivalent to the deals I see on TV or Facebook for a $5 large pizza with all the toppings? Are we like a full meal deal you can get at your local take-out burger joint where a burger, fries, and drink will cost you less than $3? We’re more. Much more. Anyone who walks in our door, who eats our food, who takes our workshops, who attends our special events realize we are priceless. But how do you get more than the 10% through the door? How do you begin to shift priorities of the general public? How do you influence change one 18 ounce smoothie at a time at $9 a pop?
It’s not easy. I just got off one solid week of juicing 27 green juices each morning for 9 active participants in our 7-Day Juice Challenge. I was in the cafe at 6:30 every morning so the juices could be ready to go at 8 am. And then my real day began working in the cafe and all that entails till 7:30 at night. My reward? Seeing each participant coming in glowing more and more each day. Hearing things like:
“I can see my waist again – for the first time in years!” “I’m down a jean size.” “I can’t believe the energy I have. My friends are noticing it too.” “My granddaughter feels so good she now wants me to buy a juicer. She wants to do this everyday and incorporate it into our daily diet.”
The appreciation, the hugs, the thoughtful emails, the flowers. I don’t think your regular fast food establishment gets that kind of response. That is the fuel that keeps us all going. It truly is based on one juice, one smoothie, one conversation, one moment of service at a time. It is priceless.
And just to show how change can happen one smoothie at a time for International Women’s Week and Day our cafe Rawsome Living Foods Cafe and Juice Bar is donating one dollar from every smoothie sold to SWOVA – Salt Spring Women Opposed to Violence and Abuse for the remarkable work they do to prevent violence and abuse by educating youth about how to have respectful and healthy relationships and fostering youth leadership.
I realize in order to improve one’s health, it is an investment of personal commitment, time, energy and money. In order to grow a business it is an investment of personal commitment, time, energy and money. It’s all about health and well-being. It’s all about making a change and making a difference. Thank you to the countless people who take the time to read my blog. Thank you to the many people who are growing our business along with us. Your support means so much to us. Thank you to all the game changers out there. We can make a difference. Together.
One final note. You all know I am a huge champion of our son. Coincidentally, this week, Jean Paul Maurice released a new video for his song Game Changer produced by Green Couch Productions. May it lift your hearts and influence the change you want to be. Anything is possible.
In honour of International Women’s Week and our smoothie campaign, as well as my 100th post, here is the first recipe I ever shared. Serene Green Smoothie is one of our all time favourites at Rawsome Living Foods Cafe and Juice Bar and it is so simple to make.
Serene Green Smoothie
Yield: 18 oz
Blend until smooth:
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped kale
- 1 cup organic apple juice
- 1” chunk of ginger