Author: Rebel Mariposa

We feel like it is time to take a break!

Since COVID-19 made its way to Texas and governments enacted stay at home orders and special laws for business, we haven’t closed our doors. We took special care and extra precautions to keep our staff and customers safe. 

On Monday, April 27, 2020,  Governor Abbott decided to initiate the reopening of  Texas starting May 1st.  We don’t agree with this decision and believe he is actually unconcerned with the health and well being of the majority of the citizens and folks who currently reside in Texas. 

We understand the current political climate, and given the direct ties between Governor Abbott and Donald Trump, we cannot trust the governor’s judgment at this time. Because of this, we have come to the difficult decision to halt our service temporarily. We feel that at this time, we should take a two-week break to allow our staff to rest and do our part to help lessen the curve. Our team will continue to be paid throughout this time.

The last month and a half has felt like a full sprint from the moment our community went into lockdown. We adapted to the fast-changing laws that would change almost daily and prepared our small staff to continue working as safely as possible under these new circumstances. However, the decision to step back is based on an ethical dilemma: Do we continue to comply and open at 25% and potentially expose our staff to a higher risk of exposure? What if one of our customers contracts COVID-19? Do we continue to use products that medical facilities are more in need of than us? Are we willing to be the guinea pigs for corporate America?

Our mission has always been to provide nutritious, sustainable food, and hold an inclusive, safe space for our community. However, in these decisive times, we are simply not willing to pick money over lives. We hope our community understands our decision and we encourage you to continue supporting La B during our hiatus. 

You can continue to support us through making donations at our Cash App or Paypal. You can also purchase a virtual gift card.

We hope that y’all remain safe and vigilant out there, and we will see y’all soon again.

Sana Sana Vibes, 

-Rebel and the La Botanica Team

A Sigh of Relief For La B

Today I found myself sobbing over the bowl of pasta I made for Amanda, my partner/gf, and me for lunch.  I had just read an email from my insurance agent and told Amanda about the news. La Botanica finally caught a break from the harsh and crashing waves of stress brought on by this relentless pandemic. I started to sob. 

Not tears of sadness but of relief. Although I appreciated her comforting me, I told her I was ok and to just let me continue crying because I knew that I had a lot of pressure to release. It was the first time I sobbed over all of this, and it felt good. I hadn’t realized how much pressure and weight I was carrying until the seal of tears was broken. I didn’t realize I was tirelessly treading water, still so far from the shore of safety. 

The email contained the first good news I had received about La Botanica since mid-March when COVID-19 turned this city and the USA upside down. 70% of small businesses in this country operate with a two-week budget, most of us–and by “us” I am referring to the other small business owners I know in this town– who don’t have a large reserve to dip into if shit hits the fan. We aren’t trust fund babies and we don’t come from generational wealth. Actually that’s what we are trying to do, create jobs and avenues of income and build something we can live off of and pass those along to future generations. 

Running a restaurant as a QWOC (queer women of color) already comes with a long list of uphill battles and learning to stay on your toes. So when the state and city governments started to make changes to how businesses could operate, I felt like I was asked to make a hard and unexpected pivot.   Don’t get me wrong, I am a dancer so for me pivoting is fun and an essential part of dance, but I am also human so it can be exhausting especially when asked to do it continuously. Over the past couple of weeks, I keep thinking to myself, “We aren’t just gonna need money to keep our businesses going. We are also gonna need funds to pay for a therapist.”  What we are going through is definitely going to result in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). 

I think it’s important to emphasize when I refer to small businesses, I am not talking about the government’s version of “small.” According to the government, if you have 499 employees you are small. La Botanica currently has 6 employees so I guess you can say we are a micro business by the government’s criteria. Yet that doesn’t matter. I have to apply for the same funds that businesses whose CFO’s are filling out the applications while the owners are at their lake houses staying safe and far away from the public. I, on the other hand, don’t have the privilege and am ethically bound to working alongside the workers of La B throughout this pandemic.

The good news doesn’t mean we’ve made it to shore, but it served as a quick trip up for air, and it was definitely what I needed to keep swimming.


La Botanica COVID-19 Response

Dear La Botanica friends & family,

The world seems to be changing fast and we are doing our best to change with it.  We understand that everyone is currently facing their own set of challenges due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic – but if you have the means to do so – La Botanica could use your help to keep our staff and space operating as we move through this time together. 

Here are several ways you can support:

  1. Continue to order from us. We are still operating and filling online and call-in orders that are ready for curbside pickup.  
  2. Order a gift card for yourself, or someone else. This can be used the same day or on a future date.
  3. Follow us on all social media platforms and share our posts.

We continue to maintain a high level of strict sanitation protocols.  We are following all current CDC guidelines and will not cease to implement these precautions as we continue to service the community.

We have always worked hard to make La Botanica a safer space for everyone.  We have always believed and practiced that when you protect and nurture the most vulnerable beings we all thrive.   We cannot imagine a world where La B doesn’t exist. So we call on you, our familia, and ourselves to unite and take care of each other. Many of us will be facing pressure and changes as a result of this pandemic, so take care of yourself, check in with your friends & family, and support however you can. 

We humbly thank you and send everyone our sincerest Sana-Sana-vibes.

 – Rebel and the La Botanica team

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San Antonio, Texas