PLENTY SUMMER 2020 - Page 43

creative enterprise A time for ingenuity by wib middleton here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and for many of us, our work lives and aspirations are on pause, derailed, or being actively reimagined. Feet firmly planted in mid air seems an apt description of the time we’re in. So call out the innovators, the creative entrepreneurs the lateral thinkers to offer up some fertile possibilities of how to get through this together. Serial entrepreneur Josh Carin is one who is answering the call, jumping into the uncertainty of these times to help. A seasoned veteran with over thirty years on the DC catering scene, Josh has created a number of companies. All a deep commitment to excellent food service, from beautifully presented fine cuisine at weddings and corporate events, to succulent savory BBQ, served up from mobile smokers at farmers markets. But that’s not the story we’re telling here. Instead this is about a convergence of Josh’s itching for a new business adventure, an unlikely opportunity that arose at the Montgomery County Revenue Authority (MCRA), and the onset of COVID-19. As part of its mission, MCRA operates and manages Montgomery County Golf (MCG), which is comprised of nine courses throughout the county, Poolesville being one of them. Leaving his other businesses in the capable hands of his team, Josh made the recent decision to take a full-time position as Director of Hospitality at MCG, leveraging his 31 years of business acumen into high gear. “When COVID hit, the Revenue Authority became a resource to help connect organizations within the community to food sources, both locally and regionally,” says Josh. Working with the head of logistics from Montgomery County’s Department of General Services and a newly developed task force, Josh has been focused on emergency planning and feeding alongside the coordination of county vehicles to move food from place to place. Additionally, he is leading a task force charged with scaling up availability of prepared foods within the county. “We are in the process of creating five food hubs in different county locations that will produce meals for people at risk and distribute the food via various nonprofits that already serve those communities,” says Josh. “The big thing is that all of the food providers like Manna Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, WUMCO Help, area churches, and others who are doing emergency feeding, are all taxed beyond belief. So we are jumping in to lend additional help through these food hubs. The goal is to produce meals through local caterers and restaurants. Think Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen,” Josh reports. “In addition, we are preparing a plan to acquire easyto-prepare boxes of food, good for three to six days so people can make meals at home.” As logistics planning and infrastructure build-out come online, the effort to marry up food providers with people in need will be putting businesses impacted by COVID-19 back in business. “We are working with five to seven local caterers as well as five local restaurants. They will be hired and paid to create those meals. It’s a great win-win,” assures Josh. Meanwhile, in the wake of the pandemic, the Agricultural Reserve has taken on new importance. Local small farm CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are bursting with memberships and now have waiting lists. “We have seen a 30 percent increase in CSA sign-ups over concerns of food chain disruption,” reports Josh. “Montgomery Countryside Alliance Executive Director Caroline Taylor and her team are working with local growers to gear up for more production in the fall in anticipation of increased demand.” According to Josh, “Jeremy Criss, Director of plenty I summer growing 2020 43