The Green Book Project’s Business Spotlight is a new campaign we’re launching to highlight businssess with inclusive practices and locations where our users will be safe.
The Temescal neighborhood in Oakland, California is one of the city’s oldest and most popular parts of town. Centered on the famous Telegraph Avenue, the Temescal neighborhood reflects much of the diversity of Oakland and is likewise home to people from all walks of life.
Just off the main avenue, and tucked away on the corner of “Temescal Alley”, one can find a small ice cream shop, inconspicuously offering a mixture of delicious, traditional, and vegan ice cream flavors alike. The shop’s name, Curbside Creamery.
Tori Wentworth is the owner and founder of Curbside Creamery. Back in 2013, Tori found that there was a frustrating lack of alternative ice cream options in the San Francisco Bay Area. So, Tori decided to start their own business, offering both traditional and vegan-friendly ice cream options to their customers, and ensuring that every visitor had the opportunity to find an ice cream flavor just for them.
We got a chance to ask Tori three questions about Curbside Creamery, and here’s what they said:
1. Tori, what’s your favorite thing about running Curbside Creamery?
“Whenever the staff is being silly and having a good time, or whenever customers are really excited about the product--especially people who have had a hard time finding a favorite flavor in a form they could actually consume if they are vegan or lactose intolerant.“
2. What do you do to create such an inclusive and welcoming environment for customers at Curbside Creamery?
“I have to defer all credit for that to my staff. I've currently got and have had a lot of queer folks and also current/former students from the local high school, Oakland Tech, on staff. Hiring local teens means giving them opportunities and naturally reflects the spirit and diversity of Oakland. Quite a few have stayed on for many years and been some of my best staff members! Ditto with the queer folks.”
3. What tips might you give to other business owners who want to be more inclusive when it comes to serving customers from all backgrounds?
“Just like above, hire a staff that reflects those customers you want to be inclusive to, they are the ones interfacing with said customers. Local staff members are going to relate to local people. Teach yourself to be wise to how class and privilege influence applicant's resumes/dress/tone, and learn to look beyond that to find yourself great, diverse staff members.”
I'm the founder of The Green Book Project. I created The Green Book Project so that folks from marginalized groups like me, can find businesses where we know we will be safe. Do you have business that you would like to see featured in The Green Book Project's next business spotlight? Tell me about it!