A Whole Lotta #LoveLocal at Treat Yourself!
Townsquared is the online community for local businesses, and in the spirit of #LoveLocal, we created a pop-up town square on Thursday, May 5. We called it Treat Yourself, and it was a special event for local businesses, starring Phil Jaber of Philz Coffee, Robyn Sue Fisher of Smitten Ice Cream, and Seth Sundberg of Prison Bars. Bay Area business owners got to make connections in a fun and supportive environment, and learn from each other.
Over 200 local entrepreneurs came out to Firehouse 8, had some champagne and truffles, and listened to these local business stars share their stories and some of their business acumen. Owen Thomas, Business Editor of the SF Chronicle, moderated, and business owners were able to ask a few questions. The speakers talked about what inspired their businesses, what drives them, and how they stay true to their vision. And, of course, how they get customers to #LoveLocal.
As much as he loves coffee, for Phil, success starts with treating his customers with love and respect. The same goes for his employees; better wages, he insisted, work.
Smitten Ice Cream’s Robyn Sue Fisher is excited about opening four new stores this year, but is working to make sure that she still has time to sit down with every new employee and “only grow[s] at the speed [her] people are ready for.” #LoveLocal should always include the most local folks—your employees!
Seth Sundberg, who created his product, Prison Bars, in prison, has a remarkable story—part of which is that it took him awhile to get comfortable telling it. Prison Bars are not only healthful granola bars, the company’s mission is to reduce recidivism and help ex-felons reintegrate with society by providing them good jobs. And the mission “is bigger than me,” he said. Which is impressive, given that Sundberg is over 7 feet tall. (And, yes, he did play basketball