We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara MArtin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, how do you think about risk?
When COVID-19 hit San Diego, restaurants and bars were forced to pivot to delivery and take-out with just a moment’s notice in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic. While this mandate required a total transformation of business for most chefs across the country, Rosannas was uniquely equipped to continue to support the community, its employees, and suppliers in the midst of chaos.Businesses must be dexterous in order to survive, and I was already starting to take my parents’ business in a new direction as a restaurant- supported retail concept: A pasta shop that carries affordable, exciting meals to bring home for a ‘dinner made easy’ concept. When we first began this transition, it was actually a bit jarring to some of our clients who have been around for 30 yrs and were used to dine in, but we found great value in this new concept when Covid-19 hit. Since we already had the appropriate structure in place, when Covid-19 emerged, Rosannas sprang into full retail mode offering curbside, take-out and delivering essential hot meals and luxuries like desserts. During the early stages of the pandemic, I kept asking myself what more could I do for my community? My faith encouraged me to wait and be patient. Before I knew it, the community came to me asking if I was able to provide meals for our nurses at the local hospitals…and they were not asking for handouts. They had already raised money within our community to buy food from local restaurants that would be given to our first responders. I was so impressed by the way they organized to help our community and was excited to be part of it. I was happy to be the delivery driver and bring my food to those who haven’t seen their families in days, in many cases. We were able to bring a piece of home to them as they were with their work families. I am glad to see that despite the risk of transitioning our business, it has been worth it. While there are many Italian restaurants in San Diego, I was starting to see and recognize opportunities in unlikely scenarios and places. As a result, I felt inspired to bring an unexpected amenity to the city, a pasta shop. “If you build it, they will come” is maybe not the safest [business] strategy, but when you know you’ll offer a quality product and affordable alternative to the white cloth dining, and there’s a hole in the market, it just makes sense. I would like to say a big thank you to our customers for supporting us and being so loyal during this time. We’ve been blown away by how much people love our store and want to keep us alive. It’s given us a greater appreciation and connection with our customers and our broader community.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Rosannas Pasta shop is a corner market with fresh meals made to order for take out and every occasion. Family owned for 30 years. Serving North County with home made pastas, bread and sauces.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
The 1st place all my friends want to go to is the beach as soon as they land. I’d take them to Swamies and walk south on the beach to Solana beach. For brunch i’d take them to Poseidon’s in Del Mar, It’s still a great place to snag a seat right up near the sand and be affordable. Take them to a show at the old globe after a day of seeing the museums in Balboa Park. The pier in Oceanside is fun to see all the fisherman and just hang along the harbor. I love Jorges Mexican food in Encinitas so thats a must along with Miramar fish Tacos in Oceanside they have some of the best fish tacos in SD. I’d take them to Bagby Beer Company for a beer. I’d also take them across the boarder to Valle de Guadalupe for an over night of wine tasting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For me it’s been a dear friend of mine Jennifer Copenhaver, her strong grace in leadership has encouraged me to stand in what I want to do as a business woman. She’s help me put into words my creativity, style and ambitions. The food industry is male dominated, I still find myself being “mansplained’ or unheard by peers. She’s given me confidence to speak up and be me. The feed back, ear and strength she gives me has been a constant in all seasons of business.
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