SoupCycle is a locally owned and operated business that delivers organic soups to homes and offices by bicycle. The concept of SoupCycle began as an assignment while the founders, Jed Lazar and Shawna Lambert, were in their final year of a Masters in Sustainable Business Administration program. Jed and Shauna had heard of a soup bicycle delivery business in Texas that had recently ditched the bikes for the petroleum-fueled option. Jed saw the fate of the Texas soup business as a challenge and thought if bicycle delivery could work anywhere, it could work in Portland. Two weeks after the duo graduated in 2008, the business was launched.
“SoupCycle was about influencing the business and other businesses to start delivering by bicycle and to show that bicycle delivery and lower carbon delivery is feasible. We also wanted to support local and organic farmers. Soup on and bike, it is a simple idea but it does all of that!”
Jed Lazar came to Mercy Corps Northwest and enrolled in the IDA program as they began starting their business. He received expert business advice and guidance from the Foundations Business course and the matched savings plan was essential to their success. “The matched savings allowed us to build efficiencies into our business.” Upgrading from an electric to a gas stove, purchasing more soup delivery trailers, and investing in marketing material and web payment programming were all made possible through the IDA program.
Since the business was launched, SoupCycle has made 25,000 deliveries by bicycle and is in the process of hiring additional employees as the business and customer base continues to grow. Jed Lazar still attends ongoing MCNW business classes and SoupCycle has become a strong member of the bicycle based business community in Portland.
“Mercy Corps Northwest and SoupCycle have opened so many doors and allowed me to interact with the people in this city in a way that I didn’t know was possible. The IDA program helped my small business to flourish despite the recession.”
(Reposted from Portland Sustainability Institute, a partner of Mercy Corps Northwest)
John Knott, President and Co-Founder of the Noisette Company has been announced as Keynote for the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit at 7:30 p.m. on October 26th at PSU Smith Center Ballroom. Additionally, Kevin Hydes, President of Integral Group and former chair of the US Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, will give opening remarks at the Summit on October 25th, 2010. The EcoDistricts keynote speech is free and open to the public. For more information on additional events, visit www.ecodistrictssummit.com.
A highly esteemed member of the sustainable building and planning community, Knott will headline a diverse and accomplished roster of speakers at the three-day summit, held at Portland State University, October 25-27, 2010. His organization, the Noisette Company, leads groundbreaking redevelopment work in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The Noisette Project is one of the best case studies of sustainable, district-level redevelopment in the United States. Taking into account the social needs, environmental responsibility and economic vitality of the Noisette Community—formerly a deteriorating area, encompassing 3,000 acres of former naval yards in North Charleston’s historic urban core—the Project has worked to uplift the neighborhood beyond mere structural renovation and environmentally friendly infrastructure.
Under Knott’s leadership, additional focus was placed on addressing equity in equal proportion to environmental and economic concerns, using innovative policies and programs to meet this goal. Notable successful programs include neighborhood involvement in defining the scope and plan for the Noisette Project, job training integrated through well-supported non-profits, a pilot prisoner re-entry program (Lowcountry Civic Justice Corps) and several social justice initiatives.
As the 2010 keynote speaker, Knott, who is an outspoken advocate of leveraging the power of neighborhoods to catalyze positive change, reinforces equity as a key topic of dialogue at the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit. The EcoDistricts Summit also features equity proponents Twana Hall-Scott, Assistant Director and Outreach Manager of Kansas City Green Impact Zone—a nationally recognized non-profit focused on concentrating and integrating resources to enact drastic and comprehensive neighborhood-level transformation—and Alan Hipólito, Executive Director of Verde—a Portland non-profit that connects low-income people and people of color with the economic benefits of protecting the environment through social enterprise and outreach.
EcoDistricts Summit is a conference in Portland, Oregon on October 25-27th, 2010 built to deepen public understanding of the EcoDistricts Initiative and to connect stakeholders and practitioners involved with pilot programs through annual progress updates and shared lessons in the deployment of integrated district-scale sustainability. Attendees will gain the following:
- A forum for inspiring and activating conversations about next generation urban sustainability at the district scale
- Elevate the conversation about neighborhood sustainability best practices and to stay informed about progress of Portlands EcoDistrict Initiative
- Deepen the conversation about integrated performance assessment, neighborhood leadership, green building, infrastructure, and behavior practices to reduce resource consumption, new sources and structures for project finance, and green neighborhood rating systems
- Unite urban sustainability practitioners working at this scale.
When | Tuesday, October 25-27th, 2010 | 8:00-5:00pm
Where | Portland State University | Smith Center, 3rd Floor, 1825 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201
Who | Planners, architects, engineers, developers, municipalities, businesses, pilot district stakeholders, engaged citizens, and labor