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Ex-Employees Allege Moon Juice Owner Fostered a Rotten Work Environment

Plus, LAist food editor moves to KCRW, and the Serving Spoon gives away free meals today

The Inaugural Girlboss Rally Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Girlboss

Insider has published a report on the work culture at LA-based Moon Juice, a wellness, juice, and beauty products company founded by Amanda Chantal Bacon. Bacon is the focus of the piece as the very embodiment of the company’s values and vision, someone who physically represents Moon Juice’s identity and brand but also comes off as “polarizing” to former employees. Though the early years were “magical,” according to former staffers, the company became increasingly focused on the way its employees projected the company’s values, whether it was, as the ex-employees say, requiring staff to wear all-white clothes while making juices at its retail stores or to consume the company’s juice and food products while on the job with a $12 daily budget.

In addition, the report offers multiple instances of Bacon’s sometimes difficult management style, detailing an instance where she allegedly tried to coerce a former regional manager who expressed she may have contracted COVID-19 to show up at a store or ignoring employees who approached her with questions. The report acknowledges the unfair expectations of women in leadership at emerging companies, where the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop or Sara Blakely of Spanx are expected to “embody the essence of their brands,” while the male co-founders of Warber Parker seem to get a pass.

As Moon Juice continues to plot growth into new markets like the Midwest, securing Series C financing from venture capital and investment funds along the way, Bacon continues to lean into its wellness approach that seems co-opted from traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. “Bacon is not only the face of her brand, she is Moon Juice incarnate — and many people will buy as many dusts and potions as it takes to adopt her lifestyle,” writes Insider.

Free fare at Serving Spoon today

According to Black Owned Food LA’s TikTok, South LA classic the Serving Spoon will be offering a free meal today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go in, ask for some waffles and bacon, and enjoy one of LA’s best neighborhood diners.

@blackownedfoodla

#blackownedfoodla @theservingspoon In Inglewood, Ca Free meal Jan. 6 10am to 2pm. #blackowned #blackownedrestaurants

♬ Vibes - Julius Waldeck

More masking up indoors

California extended the indoor mask mandate for public spaces to February 15 as the omicron variant has led to a massive winter surge in the state, especially in Southern California, where cases regularly top 20,000 a day. Hospitals are already strained from the surge due to mounting hospitalizations and staff shortages. Officials recommend wearing N95 or KN95-style masks to reduce the spread of this highly contagious variant.

Changes in LA food media

KPCC/LAist food editor Elina Shatkin announced that she would be departing KPCC, which acquired LAist years ago, and would be joining the Good Food program at KCRW as a producer for Evan Kleiman. Shatkin, who was previously at LA Weekly, said she would also be involved with a new podcast and multimedia project.

The return of Roy Choi’s Broken Bread

Kogi chef Roy Choi’s show Broken Bread returns for a second season on KCET, produced with Tastemade, on January 25, with guests Chuck D, Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, and Uyên Lê of Bé Ù in Virgil Village. “The people that we highlight on the show are people that truly are heroes to me and that I find inspiration from. Our mission statement within our team is finding good people doing great things against all odds. We’re just here to highlight the people and let them tell their stories,” Choi tells the Hollywood Reporter.

A new smokehouse for Echo Park

Food writer and Variety editor Pat Saperstein says Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman is opening a new restaurant in Echo Park called Slow Burn in the former Bar Avalon space, called it “American smokehouse viewed through an Asian-inspired lens.” Fleischman’s most recent restaurant Juicy B, a burrito spot, opened in the Spring Arcade building in Downtown LA but seems to have opened and closed within a matter of weeks during the summer.

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