5 feel good stories about Downtown Businesses and how they have stepped up to support each other and the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rich Clothing Co. + Richmond Police Department
The Rich Clothing Co. (formerly Rich City Apparel) partnered with the Richmond Police Department to supply many of their officers with face masks. Within minutes of posting their “The Rich” mask on Instagram, a lieutenant from RPD reached out to Richmond Main Street asking to get connected with the crew at The Rich Clothing Co. We quickly facilitated an introduction and a few weeks later we have seen the fruits of this labor. Rich Clothing Co.’s recent post featuring owner Osaretin Ogbebor and RPD officers received messages of thanks and props from followers. The masks quickly sold out! The Rich Clothing Co. sees this transaction as a way to support these first responders and also as a way to help create dialogue between business owners and residents of color and police officers.
Gratitude + Black and Brilliant
West Contra Costa County Charter Schools will be hosting Black and Brilliant, a special Zoom celebration to honor Black High School Seniors on Thursday, May 28, from 6-7pm. Many community, parent, and school leaders have contributed to this event. One very special contributor is Ms. Ghaliyah Roberts-Palmer proprietress of Gratitude, an Afrocentric gift shop in Downtown Richmond. The Black and Brilliant planning committee wanted to ensure local black-owned businesses would benefit from the event where possible. As a result, they contracted with Ms. Ghaliyah to provide the African 2020 Graduation Stoles. Senior recipients were super excited and proud to receive a stole that represented not only her achievement, but also her culture and heritage!
Shop Gratitude: Order by phone (510) 680-5266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Orders Available: Via curbside pickup, delivery, and shipping. Virtual tours of the shop and products also available via appointment.
Leftside Printing + Richmond Businesses
One of the first Downtown businesses to step up to support the community as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded was also Downtown’s newest business. Just three days after Leftside Printing cut the “grand opening” ribbon to their new home on Macdonald Avenue, the Bay Area-wide shelter in place order went into effect. The family-owned and operated shop quickly adjusted their operations to comply with the health order. Just as quickly they saw a drastic drop in business. Despite the severe economic downturn, Leftside Printing has not given up. To the contrary, they have doubled down on their commitment to the community:
“I spoke with my wife, Gina, and even though we’re suffering too, we want to donate $2,000 worth of ‘Open for Business’ banners to our local businesses. We are all in this together!” says owner Diego Garcia. To date nearly 30 businesses have benefited from this program. Leftside Printing has continued to innovate: they now offer decals and signs designed to help businesses implement social distancing protocols in their stores.
Roux + Kaiser Richmond
On Friday, April 17, Chef Lydia donated 50 delicious meals to Kaiser Richmond medical and administrative staff. The array included some of Roux’s most mouthwatering menu items: chili & cornbread, salads, and sammies. Despite temporarily closing her restaurant at the Richmond Food Hall due to the shelter in place order, Chef Lydia wanted to give back to those who have supported her. A few weeks later, Chef Lydia made another generous donation to Kaiser Richmond staff in the form of 50 beautifully and lovingly handmade cloth face masks.
Roux and Chef Lydia are eager to reopen and get back to the business of serving up delicious Bay Area Bayou in Downtown. The best way folks can support Roux right now is to follow them online, stay home, stay safe…and, once the Richmond Food Hall has reopened, come Downtown for good food and company.
Rich City Rides + Families & Youth
As the shelter in place orders shuttered many Downtown businesses, the doors of Rich City Rides Bike Shop remained open, providing essential bike sales and repair services to the community. They also quickly responded to the immediate needs of Richmond’s youth and young people by becoming a Grab n’ Go meal site for West Contra Costa Unified School District. Since early April Rich City Rides has partnered with WCCUSD, community organizations, and volunteers of all ages to collect and distribute free meals to youth and families. Special shout out to bike club members from Kennedy and Richmond high schools for stepping up and rising up to support this great work!
Grab-N-Go Meals: Mon-Fri, 11am-2pm
Shop the Bike Shop: Mon, Wed-Sat, 12pm-5pm, 1500 Macdonald Avenue. (510) 900-1799
Stay Tuned for More Stories from Richmond Small Businesses
Launching next week is a brand new initiative to lift up the voices of our local entrepreneurial community. We’re calling it #HeartOfRichmond. Read, listen, and support local safely.
Gratitude: Huge thanks to Tana Montero, Diego Garcia, Osaretin Ogbebor, Lydia Walker, Rich City Rides, and Adonna O’Sullivan for contributing to this piece.