Salt & Straw's community

Salt & Straw

2. Zero Hunger 5. Gender Equality

Overview

It is highly odd to see Salt & Straw, an Ice cream chain to be giving back to the community much less helping them. However, Kim Malek and Tyler Malek (Kim’s cousin) dreamt of being able to grow their community and become a place to casually hangout.

Salt & Straw is not exactly known to have or been highly innovative of an idea. However, they have created some unique twists on their flavors that is not so easily made or recreated as well as not commonly served. This was all thanks to their curious nature of putting in capital and investing in different ice cream makers as well as learning different methods of creating ice cream. These unique methods of creating ice cream, along with the different flavor combinations they have tested helped innovate their current and previous lines of flavor available to the public.


Authors

Darren Leonard

Darren Leonard

Jade Kinomoto

Jade Kinomoto

Selena Tandra

Selena Tandra

School

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University

Professor

Ingrid Greene

Ingrid Greene

Innovation

To help Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Salt & Straw created seasonal ice cream flavors that highlighted creative and different ways that food in our communities can be reused, rescued, preserved and redirected. From leftover whey from urban cheesemakers to beet tops from farmers, there are so many different ways that rescued foods can be a part of our everyday food chain. This idea was inspired by one of the co-founders, Tyler Malek. He was upset with the fact that in the United States alone, around 40% of our food supply consisting of surplus, food fad and holiday foods goes in the trash. This is extremely harmful to our environment and also does not help other communities that face food insecurity. Through their ice cream flavors, Salt & Straw saw this as an opportunity to speak upon this issue and show creative ways to combat the problem of hunger and food insecurity. They used excess ingredients from Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco like bruised (but great quality) fruits and spent grains from breweries. This was all done in hopes of spotlighting these companies who are trying to do better for the world and raise awareness.


Salt & Straw's community

Inspiration

Kim and Tyler’s visions might not seem like much and is probably not something that you would expect to be environmentally conscious. The dream to host an ice cream chain for you to be able to casually hangout with your close friends and people you know, definitely does not exude a feeling of saving the environment. However, their dream is actually much deeper and more inclusive. They support local organizations, students and artisans within the area. They are also extremely careful with how they get their ingredients, by sourcing them from trusted farms that takes care of the animals and vegetation.

Again, Salt & Straw are one of those small business chains that truly cares about everything related to their business and the environment around them. They not only invest in food artisans, but they also use their menus and funds on current issues as well as prevalent ones, like illnesses, equal rights and food wastes.

Their inspiration was truly just the want and need to serve the public while happily creating a peaceful community for everyone to enjoy. They heeded to their dreams and aspirations extremely closely and hardly strayed from the path. In fact, instead of straying from the path they proudly branched out to help the community in their own way to mutually connect with the people and the environment they had a branch in.


Overall impact

Impact is not something that can be easily seen from Salt and Straw’s method of helping. However, It can be noted that their business has grown tremendously and has been well known for being profitable whilst helping the community. They not only help in terms of funds but also make people aware of ongoing issues that require the public’s notice, they also help the local merchants and artisans that work in the area to create a less monopolistic environment, and instead create a more mutual relationship with other businesses. Salt and Straw’s methods of producing their goods are also environmentally friendly as well. They not only source their ingredients from trusted farms that protect and care for their animals as well as fresh produce, they are also an advocate for producing less pollution by using their hands to produce their delicious ice cream. They do not use the commonly used machines to churn and cool the ice cream, instead they use their blood, sweat and tears to hand churn their famous ice cream.

Salt & Straw have always been an advocate for equal rights and a diverse workspace, thus they believe that to be an equal opportunist they have provided donations to the LGBTQ community as well as creating a team of workers that are chosen through their qualifications, instead of being biased towards a single race or ethnicity. With over $50,000.00 in donations to these organizations that support People of Color and LGBTQ people, it would be hard to argue against Salt & Straw.

In addition to their generous donations to the people of color and LGBTQ community. Kim and Tyler has realized the amount of food waste and how it is affecting their community, thus they created ice cream flavors based on common food wastes that are usually thrown out due to minor imperfections, they also created a public service announcement on how to prevent or at the very least reduce food wastes. They purchased ingredients and food that were about to go to waste and created their very own twists to show the public how each and every part of their food could be put to use.


Business benefit

Salt & Straw's innovative ways of doing their business to reduce food waste, give back to the community and create a more inclusive workplace have become extremely impactful. Kim and Tyler Malek have created generational wealth within the community by purchasing from local food artisans and local vendors. They have also created a more LGBTQ and People of Color safer work environment by being more inclusive and generating funds for those organizations.

Not only has the amount of food waste been reduced. They are also creating new flavors with foods that are commonly wasted and thus able to create wealth that is often given back to the community from what would have been wasted.

All this helps create more employees get hired and hire more competent employees, they have also made their brand image and brand awareness more widespread to the public as well.

Social and environmental benefit

Salt & Straw's whole UN SDG is purposely aimed mainly at the community and the environment. They reduced the wastage of food which would have become waste and most likely thrown inappropriately into the environment causing issues within the environment.

Salt & Straw also strives for a healthier community and is thus helping create a better one that supports and advocates the LGBTQ and People of Color community. Doing so helps raise awareness of what needs to become the norm and fixing radical issues.

Interview

Joseph Alcaraz, Scooper; Employee

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Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw

Portland, OR, US

Business Website: https://saltandstraw.com

Year Founded: 2011

Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

This business deals with selling frozen desserts with a unique twist in their flavors. Their products are made by hand and the ingredients are locally sourced from trusted brands.