The other day I had the MOST AMAZING opportunity… this past fall I was at an event for the Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network and bid on a silent auction item….

Lunch with Judy Wicks!

For those of you who might not recognize the name, Judy is the founder of University City’s White Dog Café, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE),  Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia,  Fair Food, , which is now an independent non-profit with numerous programs to connect local family farms with the urban marketplace. Both Fair Food and Sustainable Business Network were incubated at the White Dog Cafe Foundation and supported by the restaurant’s profits. In her retail career, Judy was founder and owner of Black Cat, which featured locally made and fair trade gifts for 20 years. In 1970, Judy co-founded the Free People’s Store, now well known as Urban Outfitters.

Under Judy’s leadership, White Dog purchased sustainably grown produce from local family farmers for over 20 years, and developed policies to purchase only humanely and naturally raised meat, poultry and eggs, as well as sustainably harvested fish, and fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Other sustainable business practices she implemented at White Dog include recycling and composting, solar hot water, eco-friendly soaps and office supplies, and purchasing 100% of electricity from renewable sources, the first business in Pennsylvania to do so.

While our lunch of Soup, Salad and Slider (mine) – Butternut Squash Soup, Salad of Organic Greens and a BBQ Chicken Slider and Judy’s Citrus and Beet Salad (Roasted Beets, Blood Orange, Grapefruit and Orange Segments, Micro Greens, Goat Cheese Fondue, Preserved Lemon Oil)…was AMAZING!

The conversation about incorporating local, seasonal foods into wedding menus and ways to incorporate green practices into businesses and wedding was beyond belief. It was good to know that much of what we are already doing and offering to couples is right on target…

I really enjoyed lunch at White Dog and with Judy… this was a once in a lifetime opportunity