I scream, you scream, we all scream for (organic, fair trade, unique, delicious) ice cream!
Neal discusses the life path that led him from corporate finance to ice cream, with a stint in the Peace Corps along the way. When he founded Three Twins, he was determined to build a company that honored his values, as well as offering him a reasonable living.
According to Neal, organic ice cream has been done before, but not well. The early attempts from some of the bigger names on the ice cream scene typically made organic varieties in boring flavors (vanilla, chocolate or strawberry) and saw it as an opportunity to sell smaller containers while charging more money than for their conventional flavors.
By contrast, the Three Twins model puts organic at the core of the product, rather than as an afterthought. In addition to using basic organic ingredients, Three Twins concentrates on building up multiple flavor layers in its ice creams for surprising twists on classics. An increasing number of Three Twins’ flavors are using certified Fair Trade products as well.
Bill and Neal discuss what it means for a business like Three Twins to obtain USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade certified designations. They also discuss the company’s corporate giving initiatives, which include membership in 1% for the Planet and their new giving initiative “Ice Cream for Acres.” Through the Ice Cream for Acres program, Three Twins makes a donation to Global Wildlife Conservation, an environmental nonprofit that buys large tracks of land to protect habitat for endangered species. For each one pint purchase, Three Twins donates enough money to buy at least six square feet of land. To date, the company has underwritten the purchase of 100 square acres and they expect they’ll be able to facilitate the purchase of thousands of acres in the next few years with their anticipated growth.
Where can you find these delicious sweet treats? On the East Coast you can find them in Whole Foods (except in New York and New Jersey) and Fresh markets. On the West Coast, they currently have a larger footprint in Whole Foods, neighborhood corner bodegas, and some conventional grocery stores. But perhaps the most fun you’ll have is if you’re lucky enough to encounter the “pimped out” ice cream truck (which is really a refurbished school bus) known affectionately as “Carl.”
Listen to the interview with Neal Gottlieb: Episode 58 of The Wendel Forum (27:20 mins; mp3)
Three Twins Ice Cream website : www.threetwinsiceream.com
Global Wildlife Conservation website: http://globalwildlife.org/
1% for the Planet website: http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo
April 24, 2012
In (originally aired on April 7, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio) show host Bill Acevedo talks to Christopher Angell, co-founder and president of Jungell, makers of Angell organic candy bars and GlucoLift all natural glucose tablets.
Co-founded with his wife, Suzanne, Jungell Inc. makes better versions of products the couple
feels passionate about. The two grew up loving candy bars, but realized as adults that they would have to stop eating them after reading the labels. You’ve probably seen organic or fair trade chocolate bars in your favorite health food stores, but Angell’s line of products are the first true organic and fair trade candy bars on the market. They make a point to bring their own flavors to products and not just make an organic copy of what’s already on the market.
Why make candy that’s both organic and fair trade? Christopher believes if your interest in organic goes beyond your own health benefits to include the health of the environment (for example, the overall environmental and human health impacts of pesticides in farming), you’ll realize that the two go hand in hand.
Christopher and Bill discuss the organic and fair trade certifications and what goes into receiving those designations, including buying component ingredients from certified farms, inspections from certifying agencies and restrictions on genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in food products, as well as the fertilizers and pesticides used in many farming operations that typically supply the candy industry.
A relatively new company (launched in 2010), Angell generated significant interest in the marketplace and recently announced the sale of the candy bar operations to Betty Lou’s, another organic snack manufacturer that was a contract manufacturer of the bars.
With the transfer of the candy bar business, Jungell is now focusing on its other major product, GlucoLift, which is an all natural glucose tablet designed to help raise blood sugar in a safe and quick way. Christopher, who has diabetes, saw a need in the glucose tablet market and put his product creator hat on to come up with a better solution.
As he had discovered in the candy bar industry, most of the glucose products available to those managing diabetes and hypoglycemia were filled with additives, artificial ingredients and questionable GMO components. Christopher thought he could do better. The result of his work was GlucoLift, the first all-natural glucose tablet on the market. And while he was at it, he made them palatable, in a series of fruit flavors and in packaging that made it easy for someone experiencing the symptoms of low-blood sugar to manipulate.
What’s next for Jungell? As the company wraps up the sale and transition of Angell Bars to the new owners, Jungell will continue to focus on GlucoLift. And Christopher and Suzanne will look for the next need in the marketplace where they can make a difference.
Interview with Christopher Angell: Episode 57 of The Wendel Forum(27:53 mins; mp3)
Jungell website: www.jungell.com
Betty Lou’s website press release: http://bettylousinc.com/news_detail.php?id=38
960 KNEW AM radio website: www.960knew.com
Bill Acevedo’s online profile: www.wendel.com/wacevedo
September 16, 2011
In Episode 31 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on September 10, 2011, on Green 960 AM radio) Danny Ronen and Jean-Francois Daniel of The Fair Trade Spirits Company sit down with show host Bill Acevedo to explain how what you drink can make a difference.
Did you know that September 19 – 25 is the Fifth Annual San Francisco Cocktail Week?
Listen to the interview with Fair Trade Spirits Company: Episode 31 of The Wendel Forum(27:48 mins, mp3)
Fair Trade Spirits company website: http://www.fairtradespirits.com/
Green 960 AM radio: www.green960.com
Bill Acevedo website bio: www.wendel.com/wacevedo
Fifth Annual San FranciscoCocktail Week: http://sfcocktailweek.com/about.html
In Episode 27 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on Green 960 AM radio on August 13, 2011), Jose Corona, Cheif Executive Officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA), shares with show host Dick Lyons how the organization promotes the competitive advantages of locating a business in an inner city neighborhood.
Founded in 1996 in Oakland, the nonprofit group was born out of a Harvard Business School initiative. Its mission is to help both companies and communities by promoting the advantages of locating in inner city neighborhoods and by providing companies with the advice and resources to grow their businesses.
Currently, they use a three-pronged approach:
1) They offer portfolio companies a network of experienced advisors that can provide both strategic and tactical, real-world advice to address the company’s business problems.
2) They provide an advanced entrepreneur program, modeled after a Stanford business course, to provide company leaders with the education they need.
3) They are developing a network of capital sources, including an ICA fund, to help portfolio companies grow when they’re ready.
Among their portfolio are several familiar names in the green community. Who have they helped? Well, here are a few names that you may recognize:
- Excellent Packaging
- Give Something Back
- Numi Organic Tea
- Revolution Foods
- Read the case study about Premier Organics (marketed under the Artisana label)
ICA is doing some great work. And the proof is in the numbers. Jose shares some inspiring statistics in his interview. The companies in their portfolio are creating jobs and infusing wages and wealth into inner city neighborhoods.
Let us know what other innovative business growth programs you see out there!
SHOW NOTE: Tune in to The Wendel Forum on Green 960 AM radio tomorrow, August 20, at 11:30 a.m. for an interview with health and natural product investment expert Thomas Simone.
Listen to interview with Jose Corona: Episode 27 of The Wendel Forum (mp3, 27.47 min.)
Inner City Advisors website: http://innercityadvisors.org/
ICA Case Study about Premier Organics: http://innercityadvisors.org/companies/portfolio/premier-organics/
Dick Lyons bio: www.wendel.com/rlyons
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com
June 18, 2011
How many times have you gone into the grocery store and realized that you left your reusable bag in the trunk of your car? Or maybe you take a walk and spontaneously decide to pop into the local market to pick up a couple of items.
In Episode 19 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on Green 960 AM radio on June 11, 2011), host Bill Acevedo interviews ChicoBag founder and president Andy Keller. ChicoBag attempts to address the lifestyle issue of making reusable bags accessible when you need them. The ChicoBag compacts down into a size so small that one (or more) can easily be carried in a pocket or purse. It can even be strapped to a belt loop.
Andy tells us the story of how he got the original inspiration for his company and the path he took to get started (including buying his first sewing machine). Along the way, the company has made a number of product advancements as the technology for recycling has improved, including launching the new rePETe™ line of products made of 100% post consumer waste recycled plastic water bottles.
As a mission-driven company, ChicoBag does more than sell bags. They look for ways to help people reduce waste. The Bag Monster is the fictional character they use to help people wake up to the huge amount of plastic bag (and other) waste we produce. To promote education in this area, the company has launched a blog at http://www.bagmonster.com/. People can go here to share ideas about how to reduce plastic bag use, track legislation related to the use of plastic bags throughout the country, and find numerous useful links to other organizations and information.
Andy also posted information and photos from his recent trip to the South Pacific Gyre (where he witnessed first hand the effects of waste on our planet’s oceans in this floating Garbage Patch).
Check out the full interview by clicking on the Episode link in this post.
Discussion with ChicoBag’s Founder Andy Keller: Listen to Episode 19 of The Wendel Forum (approx. 27 minutes)
ChicoBag’s website: www.chicobag.com
The Bag Monster blog: www.bagmonster.com
Green 960 AM Radio website: www.green960.com
About show host William Acevedo: www.wendel.com/wacevedo
Scott Leonard, CEO and co-founder of Indigenous Designs, a fair trade organic fashion clothing company, talks about starting up his business15 years ago with show host Dick Lyons in Episode 12 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on Green 960 AM radio on April 23, 2011).
According to Scott, “We thought we could create a product that brought two different hemispheres into the actual garment. One hemisphere was that it would be environmental product that respected the earth and the other hemisphere was that it was respecting people.” He continues, “What we say is that we honor both people and planet in the product.” He discusses how organic textile certification in the EC provided the foundation for certification in the U.S. This raises the question of what other laws and regulatory structures could we import from the EC and localize for U.S. markets to promote green business here.
Indigenous Designs website: http://www.indigenousdesigns.com/
Indigenous Designs blog: http://www.indigenousdesigns.blogspot.com/
Discussion with Scott Leonard of Indigenous Designs: Episode 12 of The Wendel Forum (27 minutes)
April 19, 2011
“There are fantastic stories behind every fair trade cooperative.” That’s one of the messages of Alter Eco co-founder and CEO Mathieu Senard in the latest episode of The Wendel Forum. In Episode 11 of The Wendel Forum (first aired on April 16, 2011, on Green 960 AM radio), our host Dick Lyons talks with Mathieu about how Alter Eco brings products from third world farmers to North American consumers in a way that earns investors a return on their money, as well as a return on their values.
The company started in 1999 with a small store in France. By 2005 it decided to launch operations in North America and currently imports items including coffee, quinoa, sugar, rice and chocolate. Placed in independent grocery chains throughout the U.S., including Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, Alter Eco products allow previously marginalized small scale farmers in third world countries an opportunity to bring their products to larger markets and earn a fair wage in the process.
Mathieu shares the story behind Alter Eco and gives us a glimpse into a business model that prioritizes gradually closing the gap between rich and poor – so-called developing countries and industrialized countries.
Interview with Mathieu Senard: Episode 11 of The Wendel Forum
Alter Eco website: www.altereco-usa.com
Rainbow Grocery website: www.rainbow.coop
About the host: www.wendel.com/rlyons
Green 960 AM radio: www.green960.com