During these hard times of COVID-19, stay-at-home advisories, and the media full blasting the news 24/7, it’s very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you look closely, there is much love to be spread. The problem is that if you view the whole situation through the lens of the entire world, of course the efforts and the heartfelt goodwill of the people will be drowned out.
Every Day Heroes
That’s why in order to see the help, the support, and the love, you have to filter it down into the hundreds of thousands of communities all over the world who have everyday heroes. Doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, and many medical health professionals are spending hours, days, and weeks away from loved ones and risking their lives to provide for those in need. People who are there at the markets, and grocery stores, stocking, preparing, and getting the essentials ready for the entire populations of towns and cities. People who work for the public transportation system, postal workers delivering goods and mail, the community maintenance people, the people who clean and sanitize after entire companies or businesses, and all of the unsung heroes that I have not touched upon. This includes my very close brothers and sisters of the food industry.
I’ve seen on a global and local level how this has impacted our families: family businesses after several generations being shut down, businesses that support tens to hundreds of families, people with no source of work to provide for their loved ones. At this point it may seem like a drowning message and start to be repetitive, but I really can’t express, show, and prove enough how one single person’s heart can touch an entire community. All it takes is one person.
During this time our company has made it our mission to provide our healthy, nutritious-dense lunches to feed doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, and many medical health professionals through our “Feed Our Healthcare Heroes” campaign. We have served several hundreds of medical professionals at local major hospitals near and dear to our home at Union Square.
Upon seeing a demand from our current customers wanting to get essentials and food ingredients delivered right to their homes, and a demand of our current partnerships with local businesses needing more business, we came up with another offer. Using our resources, we now deliver our fresh, locally sourced ingredients to our customers who need these ingredients while continuing to support local businesses that need more business at this time.
These are just a few examples of what our company is currently doing during these times on top of our operations and our team writing new healthful and heartfelt articles that can help you. Our employees and staff really are the people making this happen, and with their hearts and efforts are changing and helping our local community.
Now you don’t have to go out of your way or create a company that helps your local community. One effortless and easy way to contribute to helping without really knowing is to support your local businesses even while social distancing.
Support Local Businesses
Obviously, the demand and time to help our local businesses is now, but there are reasons why helping local businesses is always beneficial for you, the community, and everyone! Here at Rootastes, we take it as a core belief, action, and mission to purchase our supplies and ingredients from local farms and local small businesses.
Local businesses are the glue that keep the community together whether we realize it or not. These businesses, no matter how small, are characterized by their huge souls and spirits. These entrepreneurs are driven, imaginative, and resourceful, qualities communities need to grow and thrive.
These businesses affect their communities on several fronts, such as the community’s economic impact front, the sociability impact front, and the eco-sustainability impact front. Find those mom and pop shops who aren’t far away, and especially during these times of crisis, a lot of them have adapted delivery services to get you their products without having to leave the comfort of your home.
I’ve talked about the benefits of helping these local small businesses, but what are some of the benefits for you? Compared to the larger retail and food industry conglomerates where quantity is mostly always chosen before quality, these local businesses focus on superb, high quality products and ingredients that are fresher (some made daily), the least use of chemicals or preservatives that your body does not need, and the fact that each and every single customer matters when you are a mom and pop shop.
I can tell you the amount of heart and soul put into these products are already on two different levels, and that the byproduct of that is much higher. Also, the fact that when these businesses put so much love and care into their products, they generally, in turn, create a long lasting relationship with their customers, and these connections are what strengthens our communities.
If you are in the Greater Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville areas and need help finding some of these amazing local businesses, here is a list of a few wonderful, friendly, quality driven businesses we choose to work with: Walden Local Meats, Wilson’s Farm, Russo’s, Iggy’s Bread, and one of our most favorites is Deano’s Pasta located in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Just to highlight one of my experiences with Deano’s Pasta, speaking from a chef who fell in love with using locally sourced, heart and passion created, “knowing that homemade is the only way” products, here’s a story.
One day I had to pick up an order of Deano’s fresh homemade artisanal pasta for our basket delivery service. Just getting out of my car I fell in love with their shop! Their lovely, vibrant red and yellow logo with their saying of “Small Batches Since 1947,” their list of the many types of varying pasta cuts (not forgetting their homemade sauces), as well as the fact that they are all-natural, non-GMO, fresh, small batches made with their signature 100% semolina dough, and the fact that they are locally handcrafted and hand-packed just sang to my heart!
In addition to that, a large proclamation stating “Made Fresh Daily,” an appreciative sign stating “Thank You For Buying Local,” and a drawing of a man tossing fresh pasta just hit home with me.
Walking in I was taken back by their assortment of different types of homemade pastas. A showcase of refrigerated fresh pastas, a wall of multiple colorful different pastas from raviolis, gnocchi, tortellini, manicotti, and much more, and a chalk-board written menu, I was like a kid looking into a candy shop. I was then kindly greeted by the lovely owners, Dean and Hala. They were both so kind, friendly, and very helpful! I had a chance to talk with Hala a little bit about their business and history, and the use of natural and healthier products in our business, and Dean, a very funny man with his jokes, kindly helped me take my order to my car. Coming from a man who has grown up with a family business, this reminded me of home! The care, effort, and love they show in their pastas really hit the spot for me!
I learned that their family is the fourth generation of local pasta makers in Somerville, MA and happen to be one of the oldest fresh pasta companies in the country! They have been making artisan noodles, raviolis, and sauces for the finest restaurants and specialty grocery stores since 1947, and they are very active in their local community, participating in over 20 local farmers markets. Deano’s Pasta Shop is still open daily to the public.
On the way out, Hala was so kind and caring to have listened to our conversation and said for me to try their slow dried riserva, whole wheat rigatoni! Straight to my mind the only recipe and nothing more comfort food to me was to make a delicious homemade, fresh garden Bolognese with this amazing artisanal rigatoni. Don’t forget to serve with a delicious dollop of fresh burrata on top!
Now before I go into my recipe, I just wanted to sum up this article for you! Again, during these times of crisis, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but never lose sight as we push through together. That caring is helping, and that just a small gesture does help the world go round. You can make a difference, with one action or thought, and with the efforts of everyone it becomes something much larger to reckon with. I was always taught that “tough times never last, but tough people always do!” As always, I am wishing and hoping upon everyone for their safety and health during these hard times.
Please check out my recipe for Rootastes’ Homemade & Fresh Garden Bolognese with Deano’s Pasta’s Slow Dry Riserva Whole Wheat Rigatoni!