Earlier this Summer, California Restaurant Foundation and SDG&E announced the winners of their 2023 Restaurants Care grants, a program meant to support locally owned food service establishments. SDG&E invested $200,000 in shareholders’ dollars toward the program this year, marking the company’s 3rd year of making this economic recovery fund possible. This year, 70% of winning restaurants are run by women, and 78% by people of color. Funds are meant to keep these local establishments successful by focusing on equipment needs and staff retention.
San Diego Gas & Electric recently visited The Plot in Oceanside, a local restaurant that was awarded a 2023 Restaurants Care grant. Jessica and Davin Waite founded The Plot with a focus on making delicious, satisfying food that is completely plant-based, while embracing zero waste practices. Near 30% of their ingredients come from an urban garden they created on-site, and the rest are sourced locally, often through non-profits that work to prevent food waste. They find innovative ways to incorporate all parts of their produce, even the nutrient rich peels and stalks make an appearance in their specialty dishes.
The husband-and-wife duo began the concept with the mindset that it is not too idealistic to create a nostalgic, comforting food brand that kids and adults will love in a way that is better for the planet and changes the status quo of restaurant practices. Jessica shares, “We focus on total utilization. This is the idea that so many resources go into growing food that wasting any part of it, even if it is going into the compost, means wasting the water, labor and everything that was spent in growing the food.”
The Restaurants Care grant was established as a response to help small businesses survive the pandemic. Jessica and Davin will be using the funds to train staff. The Plot had just opened its doors when the pandemic hit, because of this Jessica is all the more grateful for the significance of this grant, “The fact that we survived as a vegan restaurant the past three years is pretty miraculous, so support like the support we have received from SDG&E and CRF is meaningful in so many ways.”
SDG&E has supported Restaurants Care grants for 18 locally owned establishments across our service territory. We encourage our customers to support these local businesses. You can find more information and the full list of winners on the Restaurants Care website.