Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Co-op America Announces
People's Choice Awards for 2006

November 10, 2006

Green consumers across the country have chosen their favorite green businesses: IdealBite.com, Ten Thousand Villages, and Joe Coffee Bar

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Co-op America has announced the winners of its second annual People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year: Idealbite.com, Ten Thousand Villages, and Joe Coffee bar. 

The contest allowed visitors to Co-op America’s Web site to nominate and then vote on their favorite green business, with nominees coming from Co-op America’s Business Network – the largest network of green businesses screened for both their social and environmental responsibility in the US.  Over 3,700 consumers across the US nominated businesses and more than 5,600 consumers voted for their favorite business from the top-ten businesses nominated. Ben Cohen, founder of Ben & Jerry's, presented the awards on Friday, November 10, in San Francisco at the Green Festival, an annual sustainability event co-produced by Co-op America and Global Exchange.

Awards were given in three categories this year. The 2006 People’s Choice Award went to green-living advice-givers Idealbite.com.  The People’s Choice Longtime Leadership Award went to nonprofit Fair Trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages, and the People’s Choice Local Leadership Award went to the sustainable coffee house Joe Coffee Bar, located in Philadelphia.

“We were thrilled by the tremendous interest of environmentally and socially conscious consumers across the country in voting for, and saying amazing things about, their favorite green businesses across the country,” said Todd Larsen, managing director of Co-op America. “This contest and the award winners clearly show that green businesses are a growing part of the local and national economy, and that their customers truly appreciate that these businesses are outstanding leaders in treating workers, the environment, and their communities well.” 

The 2006 People’s Choice Award Winners are:

IdealBite.com, is a year-old business that provides subscribers across the country with a daily “bite” of sustainability in the form of e-mailed green living tips that are also posted to the Ideal Bite blog.  Founded by Jen Boulden and Heather Stephenson (who were featured in last year’s portfolio of green visionaries in Vanity Fair’s “green issue”), IdealBite also hosts an online store directing visitors to a host of green products, often those of other Co-op America Business Members.

Said one New Jersey-based subscriber in nominating IdealBite, “It’s like a friend giving me the green scoop … a great green company run by sassy women.  Need I say more?” 

Ten Thousand Villages, the recipient of last year’s People’s Choice Award, is this year’s recipient of the special Longtime Leadership Award, in recognition of their especially strong standing two years in a row.  Ten Thousand Villages has been providing a fair income to developing world artisans by marketing their handicrafts through a non-profit network of stores in North America (and now online) for 60 years.  A founding member of the International Fair Trade Association, Ten Thousand Villages works with literally thousands of villages in 30 countries.  Their product line comes from thousands of villages in dozens of countries, and includes home furnishings, jewelry, clothing, toys, linens, and more.

Said one Seattle customer in nominating Ten Thousand Villages, "Ten Thousand Villages, as a Fair Trade, nonprofit retail store, does brilliant work. International trade does not get any fairer than when it is run by a nonprofit. They do business with co-ops worldwide and change the lives of families.”

Joe Coffee Bar, a locally owned Philadelphia coffeehouse takes the People’s Choice Award for Local Leadership in recognition of its exceptionally strong showing drawing votes mainly from one city.  In addition to serving and selling Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, chocolate, and tea, Joe Coffee Bar also uses local organic products, is committed to energy conservation, and actively recycles as much waste as possible to minimize the impact on the environment. Joe Coffee Bar’s dairy and yogurt comes from the grass-fed cows of a small New Jersey farm and greens come from Lancaster County, PA.  Joe Coffee Bar functions as a meeting space for local progressives and others, such as a Spanish language conversation group.

Said one Philadelphia customer in nominating Joe Coffee Bar, "With his wonderful Fair Trade coffee and cocoa, Joe 'walks the walk' - recycling, reducing energy consumption, supporting local and organic foods, offering meeting space to local causes, and…the staff is really nice early in the morning!"

Co-op America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1982, providing the economic strategies, organizing power and practicing tools for businesses and individuals to address today’s social and environmental problems.

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Please contact Todd Larsen by email
or by phone at 202-872-5307.