When Jihane Achi from Piola restaurant in Arlington got in touch with us about hosting an International Women’s Day fundraiser on our behalf, explaining that she and her husband (who owns the restaurant) wanted to contribute 50 percent of the proceeds of all dessert sales on International Women’s Day (and the week leading up to it) to The Women’s Foundation as a means of giving back to the community, I knew that this could mean only one thing.
Quality control is, after all, of the essence at The Women’s Foundation, and we do what we have to do. No sacrifice is too great, no sugar rush too small.
We made our trip after work on International Women’s Day itself and were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves greeted by servers who presented us each with a flower, and then proudly showed us the banner that publicized the fundraiser. As we were served our complimentary mimosas to honor the day (after arms were twisted all around, of course), we all felt that Piola was not only making a generous contribution to the women of the Washington area, but also truly taking on the spirit of International Women’s Day by honoring every woman who walked through the door and making it a true celebration.
Who needs a parade when you’ve got this, I thought.
The tone of the evening rang true with what Jihane had told me about the restaurant’s perspective on marketing and community. "We could spend a lot of money on advertising," she said. "But instead we’d rather take that money and expand our business by truly connecting with and supporting organizations doing good work in our community."
A few days later, Jihane contacted us to share the good news that the fundraiser had raised nearly $600 for The Women’s Foundation, and had led to an increase in their total dessert sales of about 30 percent–a generous demonstration of their investment in the women of the Washington area, and their own business.
Staff were elated with the success of the fundraiser, and touched by the generosity and warm feel of the restaurant.
They were not, however, surprised by the link between the fundraiser’s success and, well, the desserts.
As Opa said afterwards, "Dessert was definitely my favorite part of the evening. Profiteroles. I couldn’t finish it, but it was delicious."
In sum, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Jihane and Nabil for their generosity, and for their investment in the women of the Washington metropolitan area and their community. We’re proud to have the support of a young business venture led by two people who instinctively get the fact that investing in women is investing in communities, and that philanthropy can often be good business.
And to our readers out there, if you haven’t yet visited Piola (at 1550 Wilson Blvd, just off the Rosslyn Metro stop), take it from us, you should.
Between the pizza and the profiteroles, it’s a sweet deal all around!
NOTE: Piola is an Italian based pizzeria-restaurant chain with locations in six countries: Italy, USA (New York, Miami Beach, Washington D.C. and Hallandale Beach), Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. Each restaurant promotes International Women’s Day in its own way. In New York, Piola also hosts a fundraiser for the local women’s foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation.