My name is Nikki Rood and I’m the Chef/Owner of The Sanibel Sprout, a vegan cafe and juice bar located on Sanibel Island, off the west coast of Florida. We’d like to humbly ask for your help.
As you you might have recently heard, south Florida is in a real state of emergency. An unprecedented environmental crisis has impacted us severely and taken a terrible toll on our waters, marine life and human health and economy. Toxic red tide, green algae and other complicating factors have created an acute pollution of our pristine shores and the result is that the tourism our local businesses depend on has diminished greatly. So much so, that many of us are wondering whether or not it will be viable to keep our doors open in the not-so-distant future. It breaks our hearts to see the devastating effects on our wildlife, waters and community - and so many amazing businesses struggling.
Growing a tiny plant-based, family-owned cafe on a seasonal resort island where tourists love going out for seafood and steaks has been challenging, but so incredibly rewarding! We’re in our 6th year here on Sanibel, in large part due to the grace and generosity of a community who has come out, become family at our tables and shown us a whole lotta love. It’s been a joy and a passion to provide you with healthy, home-made food - borne out of our belief that good food has the powerful ability to heal and connect.
We didn’t see this coming. We undertook an expensive renovation and facelift of the cafe early this Spring and budgeted accordingly. The summer down months are always slim here on the island, as high season typically runs from October to May, and then tourism drops off. That happens every year and we thought we’d be fine and we were on target. But then the red tide crisis hit hard and fast - and vacationers started cancelling their reservations - seriously, in droves. Some of our locals have left as well, only to return when the conditions improve.
If you would consider donating any amount, nothing is too small, to cushion The Sanibel Sprout through this difficult time, we’d be so grateful. Other ideas are welcome - we’re all ears. We want to continue working super hard and to stay around for a long time - and have every reason to believe that South Florida will rebound from this mess. Our hopes and prayers are geared to that happening sooner rather than later. Already progress has been made and our community, legislators and government officials are working immensely hard to turn things around.
And if there is anything we can do for you in return, we’d like to know. The best case scenario is we could open up a sincere dialogue exploring giving and receiving, so we can know how to best give back to you in any way we can.
In thanks & gratitude,
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