Coryna Holdaway wasn’t seeking public attention, yet quicker than she could blink – she got it.
The new proprietor of Oakdale’s Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop quickly learned the power, as well as reach of Social Media through one simple Facebook post. Her quest simple, find a place to donate unused food at the end of each day.
Holdaway reopened the popular sandwich shop at 1342 E. F St., Oakdale in mid-December. New to the sandwich business, yet not new to the food industry, she became alarmed by the amount of food left for disposal at the end of each operating day.
“Our food doesn’t really go bad necessarily, but at the end of the day we have to throw away what didn’t get used,” Holdaway said.
It’s a standard which is in compliance with the guidelines of the Mr. Pickle’s operational plan.
At the onset, employees would take home leftovers such as bread, macaroni and potato salads and pre-cut meats. According to the owner, throughout the course of time the amount just began to be too much and the team expressed concern with not being able to offer it to someone with greater need.
Sharing that upon the team’s decision to distribute the unused product, she would drive around town and offer it to the homeless.
“As a team we made a decision to do something about it,” she said of the nightly overages.
Recognizing the potential for something bigger and unaware of where to go locally, the owner made a post on the Oakdale Incident Feed Facebook page. According to Holdaway within less than two hours she had over 500 comments from varying communities offering names of families, as well as organizations which could benefit from her generosity.
“It was really heartbreaking that there were that many people right here in our community that need food,” she said. “I really wanted to reach out to the people that needed it right here in Oakdale.”
After speaking with varying groups, Holdaway made the decision to partner with Oakdale’s Family Support Network, noting the frequency and clientele they serve seemed best in alignment with her donation items.
Still learning the business and the sandwich shop needs, the owner recognizes there are modifications that might be made to cut back on waste. Some things, however, such as a minimum of two loaves of each type of bread on hand at all times, are company standard. Leftovers at the end of the business day, she added, seem to be inevitable.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity to help those in need,” Holdaway concluded.