College of Science

Department of Biology and Chemistry

Thriving During the Pandemic

By: Aparna Sreenivasan

Photo by David Royal

Like small business operators everywhere, Juan Pablo Perez worried the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown orders would destroy his business.

Over 14 years and working out of his family’s small organic farm near Salinas, Perez cultivated fresh fruits and vegetables and has driven thousands of miles to personally deliver boxes to families from Santa Cruz to Big Sur under J&P Organics.

The Salinas organic farmer and Community Supported Agriculture provider developed a hard-core clientele, with about 300 customers weekly. As he established himself, he said, J&P Organics “changed the model of the CSA. With our box there is no contract, you can pay as you go, order when you like. We let you know what is in the box beforehand and it’s delivered to the home.”

But when the coronavirus forced the closure of so many activities and businesses, “I thought we were going to have to shut our business down,” said Perez, 36.

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