Local Business Spotlight: Bandidas Taqueria

BandidasDP World Community Kinship works to shine a spotlight on local businesses in the Vancouver area that are helping to make our community a better place. By bringing the community’s attention to these amazing businesses, we can help support their corporate social responsibility initiatives—and even share some ideas for how other businesses can give back.

Get to Know Bandidas Taqueria

This local business spotlight focuses on Bandidas Taqueria. Bandidas Taqueria offers handmade, Mexican-inspired, vegetarian food in the heart of East Vancouver. In addition to serving crave-worthy food, this restaurant has gone to incredible lengths to support its community through corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Owners Jackie-Rae Avery and Aiyana Kane both come from value-based backgrounds. They have always been very community oriented, and those values have trickled down beautifully into their business.

The event that served as the true catalyst for Bandidas Taqueria’s corporate social responsibility culture was a series of teacher strikes. In September of 2014, a local school teacher came into the restaurant looking for work because she hadn’t been paid. Avery and Kane knew then that they had to use their resources to support teachers and the public education system, which they believe is a foundational pillar of a healthy society. So, they decided to donate 100 percent of their profit on a busy day to the strike fund. Droves of people came out to support the initiative.

Seeing the outpouring of community support channeled through their restaurant is what got them hooked. From then on, Avery and Kane knew they wanted corporate social responsibility to play a role in Bandidas Taqueria’s future.

How Bandidas Taqueria Gives

Bandidas Taqueria now provides ongoing support to the Vancouver community in many ways. Since the teacher strike, it has provided in-kind donations and gift cards, and supports organizations in the community in other small and more frequent ways. The restaurant frequently teams up with local artists to produce fundraising art shows.

It also makes larger, more strategic donations to environmental and social justice-based organizations like Raven Trust. Raven Trust helps make it possible for indigenous people to have a legal defense fund allocated to the ongoing protection of their constitutional rights.

Having been in business for over a decade now, Bandidas Taqueria has solidified how to positively impact the Vancouver community through sustainable initiatives. If your small or mid-size business is looking for ways to start giving back, the owners have some advice:

  • First, do what you can. Start small with donations and fundraising initiatives, and then grow and do more as time goes on and you’re able. You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by giving back.
  • Figure out which causes fit into your company’s cultural beliefs.
  • From there, get to know organizations that champion those causes and find out how you can help them make a difference.

Partnerships: the key to great corporate social responsibility

Bandidas Taqueria has community-focused events throughout the year that you won’t want to miss if you’re in the Vancouver area. It recently celebrated International Women’s Day by featuring a female-led art show with pieces centering around a feminist theme. And for Earth Day, it held a fundraiser in which local school students created unique art pieces. There was a huge turnout from the community for both events and 100 percent of the profits were donated to organizations that support the marginalized or less fortunate people in Vancouver.

Be sure to stop by and grab a bite to eat at Bandidas Taqueria. But also, keep an eye on its Facebook and Instagram accounts to see the causes it supports and get ideas for how you can give back through your own business!