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March 25, 2020
Positivity amidst a pandemic: how 78 Corridor companies are responding

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” - Mr. Rogers

The Innovate78 community is banding together during this time to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  We aggregated a handful of positive business stories along the 78 Corridor to share with you all during this time of crisis.  

Dr. Bronner’s (Vista)

Dr. Bronner’s donated 10 boxes of hand sanitizer and 30 boxes of soap to the City of Vista Public Safety Team to help keep them protected from germs while they are keeping the City safe.

Fire Chief Ned Vander Pol and a few members of his team.


In light of the sky-rocketing demand for hand sanitizer, Dr. Bronner’s has committed to donating 2% of its total hand sanitizer production for the duration of this pandemic.  Dr. Bronner’s is making that donation to non-profit organizations that are supporting people in need and at-risk, including those experiencing homelessness.  

Bitchin’ Sauce (Carlsbad)

Bitchin' Sauce has been donating tubs of sauce to local food banks and first responders.  In addition, they are making sure to take care of their employees by giving additional sick leave and paid time off, on top of what is already offered by the new Families First Coronavirus Act.  While at work, they are taking all suggested precautions by distancing employee work stations, spreading out the timing of employee breaks, and offering remote work when available.

Coomber Wines and Essentials (Oceanside)

Coomber Wines and Essentials quickly shifted its business model and has not had to cut any employee shifts. The interior of the winery is temporarily closed, but by utilizing a grab and go window, curbside pick-up, and same day delivery they are busy as ever.  

Pivoting even further, they are working with restaurant partners to put together a "Dinner for Two" package, available for same day delivery which, of course, comes with a bottle of wine of your choice. And if you are a Coomber wine club member, they are offering a bottle of wine for just 5 cents, in lieu of the 8 tastings you normally receive in the tasting room. 


San Diego Code School (Escondido):

The San Diego Code School is not only educating the next generation of coders and developers, but its founder, Mike Roberts, is helping businesses adapt to online tools they have never used before.  Mike is an accomplished Software Engineer and has used and onboarded a variety of online tools for businesses. He is assisting businesses who have traditionally never had to use these tools (tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.) get up to speed as quickly as possible so that they don’t miss a beat.  He frequently uses these tools for San Diego Code School and is volunteering his time to help others in the community transition into the online world. 


Creative Electron (San Marcos):

Not many manufacturing and production businesses are able to adopt a “work from home” policy, but Creative Electron has found a way to continue production and maintain social distancing.  In an effort to keep business as usual, Creative Electron has moved machines and production lines into employee garages.  The machines were transported to the garages of employees last week and production schedules have been kept on track. Employees typically work on one specific machine per day, so after the initial moving and setup, it has been a seamless transition from going to the office every day, to just going to their garages every day.


Local Innovate78 entrepreneur, Patrick Hadley, is volunteering his time and expertise to help local businesses in any way he can.  An experiential marketer by trade, he has a wealth of knowledge relating to all aspects of small business.  He is available to offer support and advice as businesses navigate through tough decisions either with staff/payroll, overhead expenses or dealing with vendors, banks, credit cards, etc.  Patrick is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, has spoken and lectured at numerous industry events and was named one of the most important people in design by San Diego Magazine.  He can be reached at

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