Name: Kacy Erdelyi
Kids: Luke, 9 and Natalie, 4
Location: 617 Valley Rd., Montclair
New Jersey Family: Tell me about your business and what makes it unique?
Kacy Erdelyi: Joyist is an organic, functional foods café. When you eat better, you feel better, and we want to help make that choice as easy and delicious as possible.
NJF: When did you launch Joyist and what was your biggest inspiration to get it off the ground?
KE: We launched the business in 2017. My biggest inspiration was that I was surprised how hard it was to get healthy food on the go in Montclair! I knew there were other towns that had the same challenge, and our hope is to one day bring Joyist to many of them.
NJF: How was COVID-19 affected your business?
KE: We decided to temporarily shut our business down as we were losing too much money trying to keep it open. It was an incredibly hard and incredibly sad decision, but ultimately the best one for Joyist and for the safety of our customers and team.
NJF: How have you pivoted your business to adapt to this stressful and uncertain time?
KE: For the first two weeks we were happy to focus on takeout and delivery and to offer school lunches to kids stuck at home!
NJF: What can others do to support you?
KE: Come back when we reopen!
NJF: How are you and your business giving back through this period?
KE: On our final day, we sold off many of our perishable items at a discount to our customers. All of the money we made that day is going to be distributed among our team members to help them get through this time without work. We also donated $1 of every school lunch we sold last week to Toni’s Kitchen, our local organization that is helping to keep children in food insecure families fed while they are out of school.
NJF: What will be the first thing you do as a business when this is behind us?
KE: Refocus on our path to growth and try to bring Joyist to as many towns as possible.
NJF: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever gotten?
KE: My friend Jodie told me to always come from a place of abundance. Sharing ideas and resources with other businesses, even if they might be competitive, always works out better in the end.