San Bernardino business gives back to healthcare professionals while struggling to operate

Photo VLB: Viva La Boba owners David Friedman and Tansu Philip (left) arrive with 50 boba drinks for healthcare professionals at Dignity Health’s - St. Bernardine Medical Center.
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In the midst of the Covid-19 public health crisis, locally owned businesses are hit with implications causing a struggle to operate and remain open.

Regardless of the transparent struggles, locally-owned business and champion Viva La Boba continues to shine light in San Bernardino.

Owners David Friedman and Tansu Philip donated 50 vegan boba drinks to the emergency ward at Dignity Health’s – St. Bernardine Medical Center on Monday, April 6.

Photo VLB: During the Covid-19 public health crisis, boba just so happens to be one of the safest drinks to order, due to its sealant lid. Pictured is Viva La Boba co-ownerTansu Philip

“Our goal is to donate 300 boba drinks per week to assist healthcare professionals and front-line employees in San Bernardino and beyond. These are the people in the community that have elevated us into success, so it’s important to give back to them in any way we can,” said Friedman.

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On Wednesday, April 8 Viva La Boba is slated to donate more of its award winning boba drinks, this time to healthcare professionals at San Bernardino Community Hospital.

“My aunt and uncle are physicians at hospitals in the area and they reached out to us in regard to an initiative they started to feed frontline employees in the community,” said Philip.

“So, we literally transported 50 boba drinks in the backseat of our car from Viva La Boba to St. Bernardine Medical Center. When we arrived with the drinks, the staff was so grateful to receive such a small gesture,” concluded Philip.

Despite providing support to the community, the downtown San Bernardino boba shop has recently faced its own setbacks and struggles.

“Last month we had to let go a few of our employees, which was very tough. We also had to shut down our seating area and generate a new sanitizing plan to maximize safety,” shared Friedman.

Friedman shared that in regard to the loss of its employees, they strategically evaluated and compared potential income from reduced hours and unemployment; they found that their employees would garner more wages from unemployment.

“Thankfully the Small Business Administration is offering a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) grant to keep the workforce employed. With the utilization of this we’ve been able to offer our employees their jobs back,” Friedman said.

In response to the current crisis, Viva La Boba’s doors are currently open (literally) so guests do not have to touch door handles and have the option to purchase one of its sealant drinks on Postmates or Grubhub at the same exact price as in-store.

“We’re just a small boba shop…but we love our community and will continue giving back as much as we can,” concluded Friedman.

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