The COVID-19 pandemic had a massive effect on just about every aspect of life. We all felt the devastating effects that the nationwide shutdowns had on the economy. Those early days of lockdown really tested the resilience of small businesses. That struggle pushed some people to completely change the trajectory of their lives, awakening a kind of perseverance that helped them fight through.
“It was a really surreal time to be working in a restaurant; we both lost our jobs and at that point realized we wanted to make something happen on our own,” says Bonnie Hernandez and Shea Montanez, the owner and chef of Happy Mediums, a deli pop-up that operates out of their home. The foundation of the pop-up is bolstered by a sense of culinary creativity and the belief that “food is love.”
“Luckily, I think we both have a pretty good fighting spirit in us to shift this ‘oh god what are we going to do panic’ into ‘hey maybe this is an opportunity’ says Hernandez, “We wanted to, from the very beginning, make sure that we were building into that a model that supported our community. We’re part of a broader movement taking care of each other. You feel more proud because you made it happen all on your own.”
Watch the above video to learn more about Hernandez and Montanez’s triumphant against-the-odds story, their love of food and community, and how Happy Mediums is making a difference. And keep an eye out for additional episodes from our Salud To Summer series, created in partnership with Modelo.