In each issue of Conscious Company Magazine, we will highlight local, sustainable food producers in different geographical locations.

For our first issue, we’re shining the spotlight on New York.

Rescue Chocolate – Brooklyn, NY

 Products: Vegan chocolate bars and truffles.

 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

We are able to provide high-quality artisanal food for humans to enjoy, and we also benefit animals because we donate profits to various animal rescue organizations. Our products allow our consumers to not only experience a decadently fabulous treat, but to know that each bite is also doing a little bit to combat the problem of killing unwanted dogs and cats at municipal facilities.

 HOW DOES OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS IN A SUSTAINABLE OR CONSCIOUS WAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMPANY?

Our founder, Sarah Gross, has been a vegan for a very long time, primarily because of the animals, but also because of the benefits to her health and the environment. She knew that she definitely did not want to harm animals or the environment in her business undertakings. So, every Rescue Chocolate product is not only vegan but is also certified as kosher, fair trade, and organic. These certifications cost a little bit more, but we’ve found that our customers are more than willing to pay for a fully ethical product. In fact, this is what sets us apart from many other chocolate companies.

 CREPiNi – Brooklyn, NY

 Products: Varieties of sweet and savory naked and filled crêpes.

 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

CREPiNi is a pioneer in the specialty food trade – the first crêpe company in America to use automated production. We treasure our European roots and value food as the centerpiece of a happy, healthy lifestyle. The company’s signature product – the Naked Crepini™ – is the fusion of a classic French crêpe and a Russian blini, based on an age-old family recipe. Introducing Crepini to North American homes to the delight of families across America keeps us all energized to keep innovating and improving consistently!

 HOW DOES OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS IN A SUSTAINABLE OR CONSCIOUS WAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMPANY?

More than 12 million crêpes were made and sold in 2013 as a result of automating our production and significantly expanding our client base. Crepini is able to offer more and better products at a lower price to existing customers, while increasing margins by 35%. Crepini is a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation), producing in a facility that utilizes optimum energy levels and relies on a sustainable supply chain. In the past four years, Crepini picked up four SOFI awards and won the 2013 Progressive Grocer Editors’ Picks contest, the highest honor in the food world.

sweetriot – New York, New York

 Products: All natural, organic, ethically sourced Cacao Nibs, Bars, and 100 Calorie Packs.

 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

Our company is one of the few that works to maintain responsible practices in every area of our business. Plenty of companies are certified as Organic or Fair Trade or as B Corps – sweetriot is so amazing because the company is all of these things! In addition to all of this, we strive to create products that positively impact our customers with packaging that makes you smile (and supports an emerging artist!), ingredients that are actually good for you, and a work environment for employees that is democratic and empowering.

HOW DOES OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS IN A SUSTAINABLE OR CONSCIOUS WAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMPANY?

We believe that if people have the option to do good through their purchases of everyday items, they will. No one wants to buy a product that contributes to child slavery or the poverty cycle – it’s all about educating people about the reality and then giving them alternative products. We believe in leveraging our for-profit business model to do good. Our customers connect with this mission and continue to choose our products because of it.

 Emmy’s Organics, Inc. – Ithaca, NY

 Products: Vegan and gluten-free superfood snacks and cereals, including Macaroons, Super Cereals, and Chocolate Sauce.

 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

So many things! I love that I’ve seen it grow from the very beginning and how different it is each day. I love the people that work for me and I love going out in the world and getting people excited about what we do. Most of all, I love the products we produce and what they stand for. I fully believe in people simplifying the food they eat to clean and healthy foods and I believe our products are an expression of that.

HOW DOES OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS IN A SUSTAINABLE OR CONSCIOUS WAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR COMPANY?

Operating our business in a sustainable and conscious way, first and foremost, is the ONLY way we would have it. As far as the value added to our company, I think that consumers are becoming more and more aware of their health and their impact, so they are becoming more in line with socially and environmentally conscious companies. On a more global scale, running a sustainable business will keep you going longer. Providing high quality jobs, sourcing organic and non-GMO ingredients, and offering packaging that can be recycled are all examples of things that are helping keep our planet and communities in a better state. This is the greatest value of sustainability, in my opinion.

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