We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Gutowsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tyler, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Handle With Care was formed over a Sunday brunch. John Santos, Kellan Martz, Ted Morales and myself were having brunch in January of 2018 and the topic of giving back to our community arose. We bounced around ideas of what we could do give back for a bit before we landed on doing something for the homeless. unhoused and under served population across our city. We felt there was not as much focus on those around West Hollywood and we knew we wanted to start there.

Giving back to those who are less fortunate has always been very close to my heart. I grew up with very humble beginnings. My parents divorced when I was little and I moved to a small rural town with my Mother. We didn’t have very much at all. Luckily, we always had a roof over our head but I recall times of having to use food stamps to get our groceries. Everything was a luxury. We scraped by and we didn’t have much. My Dad later became self made and successful but growing up wasn’t the easiest.

My mom, who is no longer with us, despite all of our hardships, was a giving and kind woman to all, including total strangers. I can remember countless examples of this but one specifically sticks out from when I was about 7 years old. We were driving home one evening from somewhere and we came across someone who clearly was living on the streets. She stopped, rolled down her window and offered the person $20. That was a lot of money to me as a kid in the early 90’s who didn’t have much. I was stunned. I knew we didn’t have a lot of money and I knew we needed that money. She continued to talk with this man at length on the side of the road. He was as shocked as I was that she was giving him this money and she spoke to him as if she knew him. She spoke to him like a human being.

The lesson she taught me on the remainder of our drive that night was invaluable and has stuck with me my entire life. There is always someone who needs it more and the world needs more kindness and love. Giving back while  genuinely, connecting with these people became the foundation of what Handle With Care is.

Today, Handle With Care meets on a monthly basis to package and distribute hundreds of quality care packages to these underserved communities across West Hollywood & Hollywood. We have expanded a chapter of our organization in Portland and soon will have one in Sacramento. Additionally we serve as a bridge to other services and opportunities to help improve the lives of the unhoused. HWC is proud to have distributed thousands of care packages, engaged hundreds of volunteers and served countless people who need it the most. Visit HandleWithCareLA.org to learn more, donate and volunteer.

What should our readers know about your business?
For more info or to donate go to HandleWithCareLA.org. If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, find us on Facebook at Handle With Care.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t even know where to begin so I’m going to stick with my favorite recommendations, restaurants. I have lived in Los Angeles for 11 years now (longer than I lived anywhere else in my life) and my love for this city runs deep. Prior to working in music and starting our non-profit, I worked in culinary television and therefore my love for food exploded. There are so many amazing restaurants across LA. If someone were visiting, my recommendations would be based off neighborhood. I personally live in Hancock Park so my local go to spots are Vernetti & Kiku Sushi, which are on Larchmont or Providence on Melrose. My other favorites are:

Downtown LA: Factory Kitchen, Bavel, Bestia & Majordomo
Hollywood: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Gwen, Petit Trois & Mozza
West Hollywood: Tesse, Sushi Park, Craig’s, Jon & Vinny’s
Santa Monica: Fia, Giorgio Baldi, Capo
Venice: Scopa, Wabi on Rose, Superba, Tasting Kitchen

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our shout out goes to, Mayor Lindsey Horvath, Council Member John Erickson and the City of West Hollywood, our 400+ volunteers and countless other businesses and organizations who continue to dedicate their time, resources and support to our cause. We would not be able to do any of this without their help. Handle With Care puts every dollar raised directly into serving the homeless community and is 100% volunteer based.

Website: HandleWithCareLA.org

Instagram: @handlewithcarela @johnathantyler

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBm8vRe2zD0

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.