Their restaurant has donated 30,000 meals, and counting

CBS News 3 weeks ago

This is paid content. It was written and produced by CBS News Digital's branded content studio in collaboration with the sponsor.


Conscious Eatery sits on the corner of a nondescript office park in Seattle. Once inside, it's a rustic and comfortable lunch spot with a mouth-watering menu and lively staff. But look a bit deeper and you'll find the owners' story of passion—for food, community and each other. 

"We're not here to be millionaires and billionaires," co-owner Cierra Laub explained. "We're here for the sole purpose of helping the community and bringing everyone together."

Cierra Laub and Chaz Rowlan at their Seattle restaurant, Conscious Eatery.

Laub experienced homelessness in her family after her parents divorced. Her fellow owner and fiance Chaz Rowlan's family also briefly lived out of their car when his mother was pregnant with him. Today, their restaurant has donated more than 30,000 meals to those in need. It was over business plans and philanthropic ideologies that they also fell in love.

"When we started dating, she was doing a lot of nonprofit work and I was on the board of directors for a nonprofit," Rowlan said. "We figured, 'Hey, let's make something happen for each other and for the community.'"

Their restaurant opened three years ago in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, providing a much-needed breakfast and lunch spot in a mostly industrial area without many eateries. In addition to dishing out everything from Cuban sandwiches with hand-pulled pork to tuna quinoa with house-made dill vinaigrette, they also serve a much bigger mission. For almost every meal rung up at Conscious Eatery, the restaurant gives one meal away, either directly to the homeless or to their nonprofit partners.

"We try as often as we can to go down to the streets of Seattle and hand out meals to the people that are suffering from homelessness directly," Rowlan explained. That also affords a chance to inform those in need about shelters, food banks and other resources available to them, he added.  

Cierra Laub and Chaz Rowlan handing out meals to the homeless in Seattle.

So how exactly does it work? It's a phrase you'll hear over and over at Conscious Eatery's cash register: "Want to make it a meal?" Each guest has the opportunity to choose an entree. If he or she decides to add either two sides or a soup to the entree, that "makes it a meal." And in turn, the restaurant then donates a dinner. 

Customers know that by adding a bit more to their purchase, they're not only getting more food on their plate but also supporting a good cause. The slightly higher profit margins of "making it a meal" versus simply buying an entree are what incentivize both customers and the owners. Those few extra cents on each purchase go directly toward Conscious Eatery's charitable donations. That breeds an enthusiastic and loyal clientele who come back day in and day out.

Now, Laub and Rowlan are setting their sights on opening more Conscious Eateries on the West Coast to expand both their business and humanitarian efforts. He often works seven days a week at the restaurant, and she was recently named as one of Seattle's "30 Under 30" entrepreneurs to keep and eye on.  

"I am a totally proud social justice warrior," Laub said emphatically, as Rowlan nodded in agreement. "If something's going on, I am going to be the first one to call it out. It's all about the community, it's about the hungry people and that's what we're here for."

Cierra Laub and Chaz Rowlan on the day of their engagement.

Not to be lost in their inspiring business story is their equally inspiring love story. Last summer, Rowlan proposed on their third anniversary. Next year, they'll be married. A big, happy family including two dogs named Zander and Zelle. For now, at least.

"I really want our children to be very proud and want to follow in our footsteps," Rowlan said. "As well as understand what it takes to not only make a business run but change the community in front of you."


Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 3 weeks ago
The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad, India, was built on top of an old cemetery. Instead of moving the graves, the owner decided to simply build his restaurant around them, scattering tables next to coffins. The restaurant features 12 coffins, and...
The Sun › 0 month ago
SOME of the nation’s favourite fast food meals could be banned if a new NHS “calorie cap” is given the green light. Dame Sally Davies, the outgoing Chief Medical Officer, wants the Government to limit the size of all restaurant and takeaway meals...
The Sun › Finance › 3 weeks ago
TESCO is recalling Indian ready meals because they could trigger allergic reactions. The supermarket said the meals may have been mispacked due to a “manufacturing error” and now contain cashew nuts. Yet this isn’t mentioned on the packaging, so...
Telegraph › Lifestyle › 1 week ago
Almost a million elderly people are skipping meals or relying on ready meals because they find eating alone too lonely.
New York Daily News › 1 week ago
An Idaho couple claimed they were booted from a family restaurant because of their Native American costumes. The restaurant, however, insists it was their rude behavior that led to them being ousted.
Metro › 3 weeks ago
Britany Price hurled the Happy Meals after being left waiting 23 minutes for help - only for a restaurant manager to respond by throwing a huge blender back at her
ABC News › Lifestyle › 1 day ago
A trailer with nearly 100,000 meals for veterans was stolen on the holiday weekend meant to celebrate former U.S. servicemen and women.
Chicago Tribune › Finance › 2 days ago
The Greater Chicago Food Depository plans to build a 40,000-square-foot kitchen on a vacant lot adjacent to its headquarters on Chicago’s Southwest Side, where it will prepare meals for home delivery.
Fox News › 1 month ago
The special prosecutor appointed to look into why the state’s attorney’s office in Chicago abruptly dropped the case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett allegedly staging an attack on himself acknowledged Monday that he donated to the top...
CNN › 1 week ago
After winning a teen "Jeopardy!" tournament, Avi Gupta donated $10,314 for pancreatic cancer research to the Knight Cancer Institute in Oregon. He made the donation for Trebek, someone he said he's always looked up to.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR