Ogden Businesses Give Back
By Cassidy Ward
What is the American dream? For as long as many of us can remember it has been about carving out a piece of the pie for yourself, finding a way to grab as much success and comfort as your able. This is the land of opportunity after all. But more and more our collective code of ethics is changing, we’re experiencing a cultural shift that is less about getting ours and more about giving.
People entering the workforce today are more concerned about doing something that makes a difference, not just for themselves and their families, but for everyone. In a capitalistic society, the success of a business is not just about profit share but also about public perception. As the priorities of the masses change, businesses must change with them if they hope to succeed. It was only a matter of time before corporate entities made to change to being more socially minded and some local businesses are leading the charge.
While the climate of business is still one of profit (it turns out you need money in order to keep your doors open) there are those who of a mind that you can run a successful business and give back to your community at the same time. While these companies may not be the majority, one can’t help but wonder if this might be the beginning of a better, more equitable, sustainable, and balanced economy.
It is with that in mind that we want to spotlight those businesses in Ogden that are actively contributing to the betterment of our city.
A Good Life Café
From their humble beginnings atop another shop on Historic 25th Street, A Good Life Café has been offering healthy meals to Ogden locals for a few years now. Their success necessitated a move to a larger space and they were able to branch out on their own. They can now be found on the North side of the street where they offer daily specials including soups, salads, sandwiches, and smoothies.
A Good Life Café specializes in offering wholesome foods with plenty of options for the gluten free and vegan among you. What merits their inclusion in this list of community minded businesses however, is their Everyone is a Winner tokens.
Recently A Good Life Café began offering the option to purchase a token for one dollar. This token could be given to anyone at any time and redeemed back at the café for a free meal consisting of soup and toast.
“Being on 25th Street the homeless problem was right in our faces. Customers would bring people in to buy them a meal and we wanted to do something to help.”
The owners of A Good Life Café believe that everyone deserves a good meal, the Everyone’s a Winner tokens are an extension of that belief. Two Hundred and Fifty tokens were made and every one of them has been sold. As they are redeemed, they are returned to a jar where they are put back into circulation. When solicited on the street for spare change, customers who have purchased a token are able to offer them instead, secure in the knowledge that they can be redeemed for a warm, healthy meal.
And She’s Dope Too
As a species we’ve made incredible social strides since we first came down from the trees and began setting up societies. There’s no question that all things being equal, quality of life is better now than it has ever been in the course of human history. Even with full awareness that there are massive areas of opportunity worldwide, they say all ships rise with the tide. Though it seems that the rising tide of humanity raises some ships faster than others and even in the first world there are ships being left behind.
Across the board women have a harder go of it than men. It is an uncomfortable truth but one that we must acknowledge if we ever hope to correct it. That inequality exists not only in arenas of education and opportunity, but also in perception, this is what And She’s Dope Too hopes to combat.
Jennifer and Taylor Killian created And She’s Dope Too in hopes of showing women that they need not compete with one another, one upping in areas of aesthetic, hoping to cultivate a culture of shared passion and confidence. The name derives from an experience had by Taylor when an acquaintance commented on the physical attractiveness of his wife, Jennifer. In response, Taylor remarked on the fact that she was “dope too” and the philosophy behind their organization was born.
As a company, they bring in money through apparel sales and a portion of that money goes into hosting meetups and events that allow women in the community to explore potential and try new things in a welcoming and friendly environment. The cause of balancing the waters and the level of their ships is at the core of their business, wrapped up in the very philosophy, one cannot exist without the other.
Fairly new on the scene in Ogden is Even Stevens, a sandwich shop on Washington Boulevard with an interesting and unique business model. Even Stevens opened their first shop in Salt Lake City in 2014. In six months they had donated 30,000 sandwiches to local non-profits, but they didn’t stop there.
Even Stevens adopted a one for one philosophy, for every sandwich they sell in one of their shops they give an equivalent amount of food to a local non-profit. Here’s how it works: customers patronize Even Stevens and at the end of the month the total sales are tallied and the amount of money needed to make an equivalent number of sandwiches is determined. That amount of money is then placed into U.S. Foods accounts that local non-profits are given access to. They can then order ingredients that will be delivered at no cost to them.
It’s not as though when you buy a sloppy joe a second sloppy joe is built and given to someone but it does mean that for every bite you put in your mouth, an equivalent bite goes into someone else’s. That’s pretty incredible. You have to eat, why not do it in such a way that you get to feed someone else too? As of a week before this writing Even Stevens had donated half a million sandwiches to local community organizations. It may not fix the hunger problem all on its own but there’s no arguing that they’re taking a sizable bite out of it.
We live in a society fueled by money, every dollar we spend whether on essential bills, food, clothing, or entertainment is a vote made with our wallets, a tally mark placed on the ballet of life. A dollar spent at the same old businesses is a vote placed for maintaining the status quo. While being cognizant of every dollar spent may not be possible, it might benefit ourselves and our community to think a little more carefully about where we place those votes, what direction our wallets push our world, we could do worse than to vote for more businesses like these.