Keeping the Vision in 2020

April 13, 2020

Keeping the Vision in 2020

Aloha MPJ Friends and Family,
As a child and young woman, I was commonly described as timid, meek, and sensitive. I was all those things. There are moments every day when I still hear those parts of me nervously chattering away in the back of my head. There is nothing wrong with any of those adjectives. They are not the adjectives usually used to describe a female business owner. So over the past ten years, I have forced myself to be bold, social, and at times, a bit brazen. My hope is that while I have become a leader in our small island community, I have not lost the softness that made me special, pre-Monkeypod Jam. 
 
The past few weeks have brought out all the adjectives of both the young and now 44 year old me. I'm reading about businesses I love shutting their doors in my home town of Portland, Oregon. Each day, our Kauai Mayor shares a briefing of new developments and mandates due to the coronavirus and its potentially, terrifying growth. As a business owner with a team of five, I'm having to make gut-wrenching decisions. Do I throw in the towel and say the numbers don't allow us to stay open? Do I take out the small business loan being offered and put my family in debt with the hope everything will bounce back over the next few years? Do I stick my head in a hole and pretend none of this is happening until creditors make decisions for me? 

Here's the plan...
The Monkeypod Jam Ladies are going for brazen. We have decided we will keep our doors open until the State of Hawaii forces us to lock them. I will not cut the hours of my team. Instead, we are thinking innovatively and strategically.

Over the last three weeks, we have developed a CSA program from scratch. Our farmers markets have been shut down, so we have created a sales and marketing platform for three of our favorite farms. They harvest and box the vegetables, while we make sure they are sold. In the first two days of delivery, we distributed produce boxes to 100 Kauai families. Now that we have hit our stride, we are meeting the produce needs for 180 Kauai families. The three farmers are selling their crops and the community is overjoyed to have fresh produce while supporting Kauai agriculture. We don't net much more than enough to cover the costs of running payments through our website and a few hours of labor. But, the program is getting people into our shop. We have added take-home dinners including soups, quiches, and Pot Pies for customers to take home or order as an add-on to their CSA Box. We are delivering lunches to nearby businesses and maintaining a lighthearted, yet purposeful presence in our community. Every day I remind my team that as a small business, we are nimble and can pivot at a moment's notice. 

WE NEED YOU!
This is a great time to put in an order. Our island borders are closed for tourism, but we can still get you a bit of Kauai. We have our tropicals including Lilikoi Curd, White Pineapple Ginger, and Guava Butter. The marmalades are stocked and the pickles are ready to ship. Your orders make a big impact on our overall bottom line. Please tell your friends about our preserves and the story that makes them so special. And thank you! Thank you for all your support over the years. Our visitors have become friends and family. We look forward to seeing you when all of this is over. In the meantime... Please order. It will make all the difference to the Little Jam Shop That Could.

And for the next two weeks... $10 shipping on cases of 12, 6oz. jars. 

Lots of Love and Tenacity,

Aletha
Monkeypod Jam, Kauai



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