- Listed: February 12, 2020 8:53 am
- Expires: 11 days, 22 hours
Two SE Alaska businesses – Village Coffee Company of Yakutat & Foundroot Seed Company of Haines – were announced as winners of the 2019 Path to Prosperity economic development contest. As winners, Foundroot & Village Coffee were awarded $25,000 each for consulting & technical services. The winners were announced on Feb. 5, during the 2020 Mid-Session Summit of Southeast Conference in Juneau.
Village Coffee Company – a drive-thru espresso shop in Yakutat run by Justyne Wheeler – serves custom coffee drinks & homemade pastries crafted from locally-sourced ingredients (such as fresh salmonberry upside down cake & spruce tip tea). In its small community, Village Coffee has found itself “serving many regulars, who oftentimes drive up in 4x4s or forklifts to get their daily cup. The business works closely with the community to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. They provide coffee grinds for composting; use compostable stir-sticks, cups, and packaging; and source locally when possible.”
Foundroot is an open-pollinated seed company run by Leah Wagner and Nick Schlosstein. The Haines seed company sells vegetable, herb, and flower seeds proven for Alaskan growing conditions. “On their small sustainable farm in Haines, Foundroot is growing seed varieties that are adapted to Alaska’s climatic challenges and have sent seeds to over 65 different communities throughout the state.”
To read more about Foundroot & Village Coffee Company, check out Charles Bingham’s Feb. 8th post here: sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org
Path to Prosperity is run by Spruce Root, Inc. through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership. Since the first competition in 2013, Path to Prosperity has received over 300 applications from SE Alaskan small business owners and entrepreneurs across 22 communities. Applications for the 2020 Path to Prosperity competition will open on April 1 and will close on May 31. This year there will be a focus on minority-run businesses.
Spruce Root is an Alaska Native-run CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) that provides local entrepreneurs with access to business development and financial resources in the form of loan capital, business coaching, workshops, and competitions. To read more about the inspiring work of Spruce Root & its team, go to www.spruceroot.org/team
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