The Importance of a Table. Yes, a Table.

These days, the good people at The New Primal are putting even more emphasis on how folks eat than what they eat. As purveyors of healthy, tasty, convenient food, this might appear to run counter to a solid business model. But for an outfit that is fast earning a reputation for having the best-tasting and cleanest jerky and cooking sauces (with, incidentally, the most adorable packaging), it does not. They already know you'll be happy you threw that packet of BBQ Meat Thins into your backpack and emptied that bottle of Noble Made Citrus Herb marinade over your crockpot chicken - and that you'll remember to enjoy their products again and again. But now, they want you to enjoy them more, well, communally.

The New Primal's "Return to the Table" campaign is a call to its customers - loyalists and newbies - to make mealtime more intentionally connecting again. Sure, they recognize that life gets busy, paths get crossed and, frankly, something's gotta give. They just don't want that something to always be dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast/brunch. And The New Primal is suggesting that, perhaps with the help of its easy and versatile sauces, the time to gather around the table can - and should - be reinstituted.

But that notion takes for granted one basic element: the table. And it was recently brought to the attention of these good people that this simple furnishing is often missing from the completion of another company's mission. Local nonprofit One80 Place has saved over 9,000 Charlestonians from homelessness in the 35 years they've been serving the City's underserved. But when its clients move into their new homes, they are often without the most basic pieces of furniture. As much as they would love to "return to the table," they find themselves without a table to which they can return.

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So, with our help, The New Primal mobilized to start resolving this dilemma. Under a beautiful late April Lowcountry sky, a dozen colleagues from the company brought lumber, tools, and the swagger of temporary carpenters to Wragg Square. There they met representatives from One80 Place and Homeless to Hope, the outfit that partners with One80 Place to collect furniture donations and deliver them to post-program residences of the nonprofit's beneficiaries.

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 Over the course of two hours, the modest crew divided into teams, each constructing a small dining table and pair of chairs. When the sawdust settled, there was a total of 4 tables and 8 chairs ready for delivery, to be set for meals and gathered around. And since woodworkers cannot work by wood alone, there was plenty of snacking (jerky, of course) and the musical motivation of a handpicked playlist - from Michael Franti's "I'm Alive" to Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam."

Time and again, we are reminded that there is no shortage of good companies doing great things in Charleston. And when they meet up to fulfill a symbiotic need, it gives us goosebumps every time. Thanks so much to The New Primal, One80 Place, and Homeless to Hope for getting us all gushy once again.

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