Jenny and Mike Eastwood thought their dream had come true. After four years of selling their artisan American-made cheeses solely at the La Jolla Open Aire Market, the Windansea residents were finally able to open their first brick and mortar at 7524 La Jolla Blvd.
That was three weeks before the shelter-in-place order.
Smallgoods Cheese Shop & Café was too small to benefit from the government’s Paycheck Protection Program and the Eastwoods have yet to hear back about the U.S. Small Business Association loans they applied for. “The only assistance we’ve received have been in the form of words of encouragement from customers, friends and complete strangers who thank us for staying open and hope we make it to the other side,” Mike said.
Yet the Eastwoods are still thinking of less-fortunate businesses during this unfortunate time. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have Escondido’s Heritage Farms to sell its produce in a micro-market in front of their store. “They rely solely on farmers markets, which don’t draw as many customers anymore,” Jenny said. “I’m incredibly passionate about our farmers. Whatever we can do to help and get some money into their pockets, that’s what we want to do.”
The Eastwoods are also helping the owners of the creameries with whom they’ve cultured relationships over the past four years. “Many have asked me to take on some of the inventory they can’t get to market because truckers are getting sick and clogging the distribution channels,” Jenny said. “All these small artisans are all looking to help each other.”
A supporter has set up a GoFundMe to help Smallgoods through this rough patch. To kick in, click here.