Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Compassion in Action: Companies That Care

As Coretta Scott King put it, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” The following businesses are among those that make this region great by supporting local causes. These often unsung heroes help make things happen, not just through monetary and in-kind donations, but also through their infectious community spirit.


724 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-790-8760,
Since its founding in 2020, Ruby’s Books has been part of the fabric of Folsom. The independent bookstore, owned by Stacy Gould, has a loyal following, as does its namesake golden retriever. Ruby’s sponsors several annual events in the Historic District, including the ice rink and summer concert series, and for the past two years has been the presenting sponsor of Twin Lakes Food Bank’s Gala. Last December, the store held its fourth annual book drive for Mercy Housing to ensure the children living there received books for Christmas.

Ruby's Books


Ruby’s also supports education by hosting school book fairs and spirit nights, donating raffle and auction items, and offering discounts to educators. The store even declared 2024 the “Year of the School Library” to help fill local libraries with the books kids love.

Ruby's Books


“Giving back to our community has been a critical part of our mission since before we even opened our doors,” Gould says. “Creating connections and spreading resources is a key part of who I am, and the work we do through the store is an extension of that.”


737 Placerville Drive, Placerville, 530-626-6774,
Feared by insects but beloved by humans, Koby Pest Control is an active community member. Founded by Mike and Elaine Kobus, the Placerville-based pest and weed control company supports many local nonprofits, including Hangtown Little League and MORE (Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises). As active members of several chambers of commerce, the Kobys often lend a hand.

Koby Pest Control


“Rather than giving money, we try to give something more valuable—our time,” says Mike. “While I might be playing in the golf tournament, Elaine might be out manning a hole or driving a golf cart around the course passing out water and snacks. Anything to help the cause.”

Ironically, Mike says one of the main reasons he and Elaine give back is “because we are selfish. It makes us feel good to know we are making a difference,” he explains. “I would like Koby Pest Control to be thought of as a good steward that cares and gives back to the community that has been so good to us.”


6300 State Highway 193, Georgetown, 530-401-5605,
Sol Nisbet is a familiar face in El Dorado County, especially on “the Divide,” the nickname for the communities located between the middle and south forks of the American River. She serves on the boards of several organizations and her company, Sol Nisbet Home Loans, regularly donates items to charity events and sponsors local activities, from Little League teams to fire safety workshops.

Sol Nisbet Home Loans


A champion for children, Nisbet co-founded Divide for the Kids to inspire local youth to live their best lives, and started Christmas in Cool, which brings holiday cheer to the small town with vendors, live music, a tree lighting and “the cutest little parade.”

Sol Nisbet Home Loans


“My goal is to create memories for the kids,” says Nisbet, adding that she partnered with the Divide Chamber of Commerce and other community leaders to make it happen. “I want to be a role model for kids, for them to know that with a little work and collaboration, anything is possible.”


3221 Rippey Road, Suite 300, Loomis, 916-472-4467,
Whether providing portable coolers to a BMX festival or hoisting a gigantic American flag over the Loomis Eggplant Festival, Life Is Good (LIG) Rentals is ready to pitch in. Founded by Keith Byers in 2017, the Loomis-based construction equipment rental company has become a pillar in the community. Byers is most passionate about helping kids. Two of LIG’s water trucks are wrapped with photos of children who passed away to help keep their memories alive. And last year, LIG donated 220 bikes, along with countless toys, to kids.

Life Is Good Rentals


“Some lives can be made a little easier with a little bit of love,” says Byers, who has struggled mightily himself. In 2009, he went to prison for selling cocaine. When he got out, he vowed to change his life.

Life Is Good Rentals


LIG started with a small investment and a dream. Seven years ago, Byers and his wife, Jennifer, invested their last $8,000 on a travel trailer, which they then rented out. LIG has since grown to 25 employees and $37 million in equipment on the books. Byers says LIG plans to continue giving back in any ways it can. “It’s the least we can do, because we are so noisy,” he jokes.


240 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-786-6665,
The Monk’s Cellar is earning accolades in the beer world and the community. Located in Downtown Roseville, Monk’s, which was named “Brewery of the Year” at the 2023 California State Fair, often donates beer to charity events and hosts trivia night fundraisers. It has also participated in numerous national fundraisers, including the Resilience project to help victims of the Paradise fire. In these efforts, Monk’s joins other brewers to make a special beer, following a specific recipe, to benefit a cause.

Monk's Cellar


“Even while writing our business plan, community was one of the three things we wanted to focus on, the others being great beer and great food,” says founder Andy Klein. The tradition of breweries giving back goes back hundreds of years to the Belgian Trappist monasteries that gave all of their brewing profits to their communities, he explains.

Monk's Cellar


Furthering its commitment to community, Monk’s recently invested in new audio-visual equipment and plans to host talks and meetings “or anything else that brings people together,” Klein says. “Our goal is to create a culture where our beer is shared as easily as the conversations, ideas, and aspirations of the community. To realize this, you’ll not only see our team on your visits to the brewery, but at regional events where we donate our time, beer, and resources to build a better, safer, cleaner place we all call home.”

by Jennifer Maragoni