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The 2014 and third New York City edition of the Green Festival had a lot of inspiring, original, smart non-food vendors, resellers or founders of many ways to live a more sustainable and responsible daily life. Also well represented were the food vendors, green in their own way: Some introducing innovative product concepts, some emphasizing the role of healthy ingredients, others pushing certifications, organic, non-GMO via the Non GMO Project third party certification, vegan and B Corp seals being the most seen throughout the Expo. Some businesses combined several or all attributes in their offerings. The tasting part along with the story, sometimes very personal, of how and why an idea became a viable business made for a very rich walk through the aisles… Here is our selection of entrepreneurs, most of whom are debuting their small business adventure and such human dimension made the stories all the more relatable and enlightening.

Nutiva

Nutiva is the relative exception to that list, due to its size and age. Founded in 1999, they are now quite well established and renowned for their 4 natural super foods: hemp, coconut, chia and red palm, and green values the way we would define them. One main goal of Nutiva is to help people eat healthy and overall to improve our food system. Hence these specific healthy foods, super nutritious, and so easy to add to one’s diet. Contributing even further, Nutiva’s founder John Roulac, founded 4 nonprofit groups including GMO Inside and the Nutiva Nourish Foundation, through which the company donates 1% of the sales (over $2MM since 1999) to support sustainable agriculture and other environmental programs. Check out the interview to learn why growing foods in an organic way is important both for our health, and for the soil their grow in.

Emmy’s

Now we’re entering the small business world, here started out of passion for healthy foods and a delicious macaroon recipe for this lovely couple of young entrepreneur. Ian and Samantha, both fit the Millennials description when it comes to food: They care about what they eat, how their food has been made and the values behind the making. Both had been living and further “kitchen-experimenting” a healthy vegan lifestyle for a while when they met, and a shared faith in their recipes brought them to the next level of what you do when you have a killer recipe in your hands: entrepreneurship. After all, what’s best than making a living, doing what you love? They named their company Emmy’s, after Ian’s Mom, whose kitchen was instrumental in their early beginnings, in 2008. Fast forward 6 years later: Emmy’s Macaroons have become the flagship product, and new products have completed Emmy’s line, now widely available in store nationwide. Listen to Ian talking about the values of their company via their official green certifications related to the way they do business (certified B Corp company) and the type of ingredients they use (Non-GMO Project verified). And find out where you can buy them!

Wonderfully Raw Gourmet

Hopping from a couple to a family affair… Sequoia started studying and cooking raw healthy foods after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. After she completely reversing her condition from a newly adopted super healthy lifestyle, she kept experimenting with recipes and credits the constant compliments and encouragements from friends and family enjoying her fares for the launch of Wonderfully Raw Gourmet. With the full support of her husband early on, she quickly enlisted her NYC-awarded-chef-rising-star son for his help with turning magic in the kitchen into successful commercial recipes and products on the market. Macaroons were their first creations shared with a wider audience, but listen to her to find out what they just came out with and see why kale may not be the only mighty king green anymore….

B’ More Organic

If one thinks, yet another milk shake or smoothie of some sorts, dang. One is wrong. Ever heard of a skyr [“skeer”]? It is an icelandic close version of a greek or strained yogurt. Now introducing B’ More Organic, the company that gathered convenience, portability and good healthy taste in one drinkable skyr smoothie, to fit our on-the-go everyday life. What’s different about it? Between probiotic, high protein and no sugar products, consumers may wonder what to prioritize, B’ More Organic is a new drinkable form that combines all these benefits. Andrew discovered skyrs as a climber in Iceland, fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis and saw the opportunity to market a truly healthy new form of drinks. But he went farther and extended his green values to his whole business, listen to him tell all about it… Hints: local suppliers, wind powered energy, a pretty inspiring story. Also find out where to find his 4 smoothie recipes.

Terra Nut

Terra Nut’s launch product is the other very innovative product form of this selection. Nut Punch is a 100% natural (as in raw and non-modified) nut, grain and seed  cold-pressed mix, and the energy you get from that little bar is only matched by its uber energetic two young (19 and 23 year old) sister founders! The full story actually started with their father, a Brazilian cyclist who used to make his own blended paste-like mix of nuts and seeds to power up during his biking outings. Years later, he was still known for those and his daughters who have enjoyed some re-creations of them their whole life thought it could be a great addition to the current market given its natural grains, seeds and nuts healthy turn this past few years. They asked their Dad to build a machine that could automate the making of the magic mix in a convenient portable more solid form. Nut Punch was born, and in this video, Alessandra is telling us about all the nutritional goodness a few bites in her bar can get in our system and also explains the difference between that little fuel delivery system and the average power bar typically found in store. Enjoy the on screen energy!

Check out our selection of non-food interviews from NYC 2014 Green Festival here!

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