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Connection to Community and Authentic Leadership with Don Santa

By April 4, 2022September 13th, 2022

In 1986, Don Santa took a dingy, time-worn convenience store in a location where it and two other businesses had failed, and created Woodlands Market, referred to by Roxanne Alaniz as “the most amazing grocery store that has ever existed.”

Don went into the endeavor with very little business knowledge or experience. With very few resources, he was an underdog in the industry, so he used an open heart to guide him to success. He listened to those around him, paid attention to what mattered to people, and responded accordingly.

To establish his store as a vital part of the community, he turned his efforts outside of the store. He knew that what his customers truly valued were their kids and their kids’ education. He and his team rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at local schools, helping them raise money for their foundations at a time when the state was slashing school budgets. “We weren’t just feeding that community, we were engaging in the things that mattered most to them,” Don says.

Over the last 36 years, his flagship store became a fixture in its neighborhood, and Woodlands Market expanded to two more locations. In this episode, Don talks about how investing in your community can help you grow your business.

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