SAN DIEGO — Jen Grove is the winner of FOX 5’s Remarkable Women initiative, which recognizes the valuable contributions women have made in our community and beyond.
A Torrey Pines High School graduate, Jen Grove spent years in Northern California after high school. She came back to San Diego and decided she wanted to give back to her community.
“It is overwhelming to think I’ve been doing this for over 16 years,” Grove said.
She runs the Del Mar Village Association, a small nonprofit that was founded to help mom-and-pop businesses in Del Mar Village compete with big box stores going up in the county.
“Trying to give them the tools to stay vibrant and economically healthy,” Grove said.
The nonprofit also serves the city of Del Mar. The year 2020 brought about a lot of challenges for small businesses, making the organization’s mission even more important.
“It’s been absolutely crazy. I had no idea the level to which we’d be relied upon by the small businesses,” Grove said. “‘Fuel the Frontline San Diego’ was near and dear to my heart and it’s something I had no way of knowing the impact it would have on the business community and our local hospitals and first responders.”
Grove and her team have been gathering donations through Fuel the Frontline then coordinating with local restaurants to provide meals for hospital staff and frontline works during the pandemic. Grove said 100% of proceeds go to local restaurants. More than 8,000 meals have been served, and they continue to collect funds.
“Today is ‘Doctors Day.’ We are delivering over 300 meals to all of the VA hospitals in San Diego County,” Grove said. “All the funds that were generated from our generous donations, we’re now up to over $120,000 that has gone directly back to those small, mom-and-pop businesses and have kept them in business for over a year now.”
FOX 5 asked Grove how it felt to be nominated in the initiative highlighting Remarkable Women.
“It’s overwhelming. To have that type of support as a female in 2021 is absolutely, be still my heart,” Grove said. “I’ve worked hard not because I wanted an award, but because that’s who I am. It’s my DNA.”
A mom of three girls, she says she knows they will go on to do remarkable things.