Have you wondered happens to the tons of edible produce going to waste in our communities?
Like many of you reading this and listening to our interview are already aware of, Paddy Iyer is a man who is known for his contribution of coffee and community to Union City more than anything. However, in speaking with him, I found that he is so much more than that. Paddy Iyer, is one of the two pioneering members, together with Lance Nishihira, of the Daily Bowl – a service which deals with the obtainment and distribution of food to the less fortunate.
From humble beginnings in the garage (isn’t that how Apple started?) some two years ago, the Daily Bowl is now a program that brings pride to our East Bay community.
In the space of just two years, Paddy has nurtured relationships with many donating partners from small farms to larger companies where he gleans the food they would otherwise throw away. Considering that he is a family man and a business man, one cannot help but wonder where he finds the time to do everything he does.
Paddy is on a mission to change the way people see and perceive food. How do we as consumers choose a perfect piece of produce? If it is the wrong shape or color, we overlook it. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to all of the visually imperfect produce in our community, you might want to listen to what Paddy has to say.
We talked a lot about this brainchild of Paddy’s, The Daily Bowl. But we also spoke about the man himself. Coming from humble beginnings in India, he narrates his journey of moving to the Bay Area and opening Paddy’s Coffee.
For those who are looking for business advice, Paddy has got you covered. Afterall, he has been able to keep a business going for more than a decade and enjoyed serving three generations of customers. Paddy’s Coffee was not only a hub of creativity and inspired entrepreneurs, but it was also the first business in Union City to earn a Green Badge for their efforts to stop food waste.
This business intelligence, coupled with a big heart, is shown in the piece of advice he would have given to his younger self. In his own words,
“Be the change that you want to be. Be the change that you OUGHT to be… That change has to be positive.”
Looking at the life, he’s leading now; I can say he did take that piece of advice to heart.
In what seems like an ironic statement to what he stands for, Paddy advises against just walking up to someone you feel needs food and offering them food or money. He encourages our listeners a better practice of connecting them with agencies that are equipped to handle all types of needs.
Referred to as the ‘broker of imperfect produce’ by many, supporting the green community, ‘gleaning’ food from all around to feed those who do not have enough. Paddy still spends plenty of time to mentor youths into greatness. Paddy finds many ways to give back to his community.