Because of COVID-19, I closed the Center for Plant-based Living's doors on the afternoon of March 16. I spent the evening at the shop refunding each and every registered person, one by one, for the upcoming classes and programs. Slowly but surely, I felt my new little business slipping away.

"...Even before we opened the brick+mortar location, I knew we’d have to digitize to scale the operation, but I certainly did not think it would be 7 months into it. ..."

Over the past 7 months I have often thought about how all of those lessons will help me in the future - there has to be more than just learning how to do something. What muscles did I strengthen enough to get me though the next "oh shit" moments?

Please excuse the messy hair and the red eyes. It’s been a helluva day. All of us small (and large) businesses are hurting from this, but with the amount of immune compromised people who come into my shop to learn how to help themselves, I cannot take the risk of them becoming infected. Our 80% alcohol cleaning solution and new serving guidelines can only do so much. Fear of this virus has no business in my business. We’ll see you on the other side of that bell curve. Please be well. caryn

“People want to know the why,” explains Dugan. “Unless you know why you’re doing something, there’s not a big motivator. … Come in and learn. That’s why I offer the programs.” That about sums it up! Thank you to Emily Wasserman for writing such poetic words about our shop and thank you to Judd Demaline for capturing us so beautifully. And- of course to a long time friend and publisher, Cat Neville for the kind and inspiring words in your Letter from the Publisher. xo I hope you enjoy the read.

ST. LOUIS - Mastering Diabetes is an online coaching platform for people living with all forms of diabetes that focuses on low-fat plant-based whole-food nutrition. Caryn Dugan owner of Center for Plant-based Living along with Dr. Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro joined Fox 2 to discuss the Center for Plant-based Living "Give Back Sessions".

In 2011, the same year I founded STL Veg Girl, I had a crazy thought, that someday there should be one place, a building a center where you could learn about what a plant-based diet is, how and why that might be a good thing in your life and where you can find continual: resources, education, inspiration, motivation and support. In 2017, still no such place existed, so I started saving. In early 2019 the perfect little space opened in downtown Kirkwood (A bustling neighborhood in the middle of St. Louis, MO) and I grabbed it.

Over the weekend I presented to physicians not only the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but also how they, too, can communicate this to their patients. Needless to say it was an honor and one that I truly thought I’d never see.

Better known as Silicon Valley in St. Louis, World Wide Technology is a force here in the Midwest. They have always recognized Earth Day, but this year they decided to have local "green" companies in to teach their employees how to better their carbon foot print. I gave a couple of food demos and engaged in a lot of conversations.

Many thanks to my dear friend, Julie Tristan, who invited me on to be a part of the incredibly valuable show, Educate.Today. This is a wonderful resource for both educators and learners everywhere. I encourage you to learn and enjoy their vast library of videos and learn about what awesome things people are doing all over the globe. This was a true honor.

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