Part of Newsom’s strategy is to center the company’s foundation on its core values, which are to be honest, approachable, and compassionate, and Hilary takes those values seriously in her business life.
“We are thoughtful about every decision we make, and it comes down to the connection, you have to have a connection to the community and with the people.”
To foster that connection, Newsom focuses on philanthropy as a way to build community relationships. “Nearly the first thing I do when I go into a new community is to look at opportunities for us to be philanthropic and to make a difference,” Newsom says. “That’s a really gracious way to ingratiate yourself into a new community and to be humble and to be inquisitive and to be philanthropic, and then we go from there.”
But those connections must also come from a deeper sense of community fostered by the staff of the restaurant. Newsom is committed to creating a comfortable environment in which employees can be themselves and feel valued.
“I tell my team ‘I hire you as an individual,’ and PlumpJack is all about the individual experience,” Newsom says. “I don’t want to hand anyone a manual—they don’t need to memorize greetings. They need to be authentic, and if they are authentic with guests and I’m authentic with them and they are authentic with me, that’s success.”