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  • Carolyn

Charlie Hong Kong's Heroes

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

To feed people is an honor. Feeding people is a spiritual act of generosity. All humanity eats. Animals eat. Even plants need nourishment to grow. Food sustains life. To have access to healthy, fresh food should be a birthright. These ideas are the core of Charlie Hong Kong.

Together the Charlie Hong Kong family created our values: cooperation, trust, freedom, accountability, and love. Working in our small busy restaurant is a challenge. Working during this pandemic presented unimaginable difficulties. We immediately made the decision to remain open. Our commitment is to feed our community. People need to eat. People will need access to healthy prepared food. Fear was definitely in the air. We knew we would have to make adjustments. We followed the mandates of the CDC and local requirements. We asked each employee about his or her intention. Many, for varying reasons, were not comfortable during this time to continue to work. We honored their decisions. Suddenly we had a third of our employees to run our restaurant. With less staff, we reduced our hours. We had protective shields designed and build. Facemasks were made and generously gifted. Sanitation, always a strict requirement for any restaurant; we doubled down. We immediately made all orders to-go; activated our online ordering system with curbside pick-up. Social distance 6ft put in place.

The employees who chose to stay, regardless of the uncertainty, are like any first responder. The employees who continued to work during this time of the COVID-19, pandemic, are heroes. They show up day after day, to create and serve food for our community. Imagine wearing a facemask for your entire 6 to 8-hour shift. Bent over a hot wok, sautéing on flames at the stovetop, greeting customers, taking orders by phone, all the while your nose and mouth are covered, rubber gloves on your hands, cleaning and sanitizing, after each interaction, standing for hours, while the tension of uncertainty grips our community. That small crew of loyal employees, showed up day after day, to what turned into months, to do the work of feeding people. To fully comprehend the challenge of their work, I’d have to invite you into our tiny kitchen, where order tickets extend beyond sight, to stand at the podium behind a plastic shield, as walk-in customers place orders or pick up their phone order. It’s hot, relentless, requires mastery of many details, to interact with 100’s of individuals, prepare 100’s of meals. Our employees remarkably remain calm and deal with it all.

Thank you to our incredible Charlie Hong Kong employees. We are grateful for your hard work and dedication. We’re grateful to the employees who returned, as things opened up. Thank you for the incredible support and patience of our community. Thank you to the city of Santa Cruz for your support. Staying open and carrying on has been an enormous team effort.

Muchas gracias, a totos los empleados. Thank you. Thank you.

Rudy & Carolyn

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