Spend Earth Day with us at a virtual celebration of sustainable business. This is the real deal, with real success stories peppered with setbacks, and an honest examination of how environmental sustainability intersects with economic sustainability. It will also be a ton of fun, so have your chips and local beverage ready, and join us for the party!
THE MANUFACTURER: Sarah Cohen, Route 11 Potato Chips (Moderator: Sari Carp, Sustainability Matters)
Get the inside story of our region’s favorite potato chip. Hear how Route 11 grew from a recent film graduate staring down a mountain of potatoes to the foodies’ favorite and industry leader it is today. We’ll draw lessons for all business owners looking to scale up sustainably, and facing hard choices about production, staffing, and markets. In the process, we’ll also learn where cows, macaws, and Korean moms fit in.
THE RETAILERS: Randy Andes, Randy’s Hardware, and Jon Henry, Jon Henry General Store (Moderator: Debbie Irwin, Staunton Community Creative Fund)
Meet the commodity retailers – a hardware store and a grocer – who’ve bucked traditional economic theory and thrived in the face of competition from big box stores. Find out how digital marketing, local sourcing, and community building paved the way to success for the little guys, even in a cost-conscious region where “shopping local” isn’t a universal value.
THE LOCAVORES: Cara Mroczek & Shane Waller, Star in the Valley Estate Winery, and David & Lynn St. Clair, Swover Creek Farm Brewery (Moderator: Nikki Grant, Woodstock Café)
Farming is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Learn how these growers balance sustainable agriculture with economic realities to create top-quality wine, beer and farm products. They’ll talk us through their decisions, explain why steady, constant building is key to resiliency, and discuss the challenges and opportunities of a farm-based business where the customers come right to your door. Also, vineyard mowing with sheep, and disc golf with beer. Just saying.
The Earth Day Sustainable Business Summit will be held as three one-hour discussions, informally moderated and with plenty of time for audience questions. Stick around after 4 pm to join us for networking!
*Spaces are limited and registration is required. Register early, by April 12, and get a discounted price ($15; $25 after April 12).*
Sustainability Matters is deeply grateful to our friends at Route 11 Potato Chips and Trex Company for sponsoring the Earth Day Sustainable Business Summit!