Women Supporting Women | Jenn Italiano of Live Organic

Marissa Bronfman

What’s the status of your business? Did you have to pivot, go online, temporarily close?

Live, the restaurant, is closed but our production facility is open and operating with minimal staff.  We have put together Live Plant Boxes of our products with contactless free delivery to homes and essential business across the GTA. We are taking orders via orders@liveorganicfood.ca. The menu is on our Instagram and will be up on the website very soon. 

What’s been the hardest part of this pandemic for you?

The hardest part of this pandemic for me is the fear of it continuing to expand here and across the entire world. I’m concerned for everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

My restaurant and production kitchen - all I’ve known for the past 19 years - stopped or changed in a matter of a few nights. I have never closed my restaurant for more than a day or two for the holidays. My staff all rely heavily on their jobs. Some of my staff have been with me for many years. It’s like a huge piece is missing from all of us. I fear the industry I have known and loved has changed forever.

What can we as a community do for you?

We need to support each other. We are all in this together. So many small businesses with such great people are suffering right now. If you have to, go out and buy local. Buy from the smaller shops and companies or order from them online if they have websites. It’s a very scary time for small businesses. We need your support more than ever to make it out of this alive. 

What advice would you give women?

As women we already tend to take a lot on in our daily lives from work to our home life. I think it’s important to let women know that it’s ok to feel vulnerable during this time. It’s ok if you don’t have all the answers at work. It’s ok if things are not perfect at home. It’s ok if your kids are not on a schedule.  It’s ok if you don’t feel strong at times. We need to be there for one another, for all the women in our tribes. 

What is your greatest hope right now?

My greatest hope is that a vaccine is found quickly and that we can begin to live our lives again without fear. I hope our kids can go outside again and play with their friends and that small businesses, including our own, will survive this pandemic. My hope is that something good will come of this one day that will make us all better human beings. 

What are the 3 things keeping you sane?

1. Calls and texts with my loved ones and friends that are filled with their love, support and laughter. The power of reaching out has never been more important than now. We all need to lift one another. 

 2. Laughing with my daughter and our time together getting my butt kicked playing Crazy 8s and Connect Four.

 3. Lastly, eating healthy delicious food... at least most of the time ;) 



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