Amelia Pape, MBA 2011
1. What are you working on right now?
We’re preparing for the launch of our mobile market in the spring and working on a rebranding campaign.
Elevator pitch: My Street Grocery is a community-based mobile grocer that increases access to affordable, fresh foods in underserved neighborhoods. We serve communities and individuals who have limited opportunities to enjoy nutritious foods on a regular basis. These limitations can be related to transportation and mobility, financial restrictions, time constraints, or other unforeseen circumstances. Whatever barrier you face to experiencing the joys of healthy, delicious, fresh foods, we can help.
2. What sustainable business trend do you predict for the upcoming year?
I don’t think I’m qualified to answer that. I do think that consumers will increasingly demand transparency of businesses, and food system players are no exception. The connection to health, happiness, and quality of diet is becoming more widely discussed, and you can already see marketers reacting. (i.e. McDonald’s commercials touting some sort of natural, local feel.) Hopefully the trend will be one of real steps toward a more sustainable, equitable food system, rather than an attempt to make a product or business appear more natural.
3. What is your favorite sustainability initiative at PSU (or what one should we start)?
If Impact Entrepreneurs had a fan club, I’d be the president. I love their mission to unleash the power of business for social change, and it has been a driving force in my career path. There is really no reason that every business shouldn’t be a social enterprise.
4. What three things would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Leftover étouffée, dinosaur kale, Secret Aardvark sauce
5. What flavor of ice cream would you be and why?
Um…if Junior Mints made an ice cream, I’d probably be that because Junior Mints make me very happy, and I suppose I’d want to have that effect on others. (Ha…that sounds ridiculous. It’s really because I have a small addiction to Junior Mints. I can’t keep them in the house.) I’d also be honored to be any flavor from Salt & Straw because they are a great local company that uses stellar, creative ingredients, and the resulting ice cream is just divine.
6. What is the last book you read?
Well, I am a little ADD when it comes to reading. I’m currently in the middle of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. They sound related, but they’re really not, other than both of their depictions of the French joie de vivre.
7. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
“Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong.” Oh wait, that’s already been done. Maybe “Cook, Eat, Smile, Repeat.”
8. Who is your sustainability hero?
Probably Alice Waters for obvious food-related reasons, but also because she found something she loved to do and made a career out of it. She started her business in late summer (August, to be exact), when she was 27, and she really had no business, resume-wise, doing what she did. Just like me.
9. If you were to teach a course, what would it be?
Personal Sustainability. It would be about giving ourselves a break, embracing the things that make us happy, and removing this weird sense of guilt that many of us carry around about it. We all do better for ourselves and for others when we’re happy. Of course, much of this revolves around food for me. I believe good food is one of the most enjoyable paths to health and happiness.
10. What advice do you have for business students interested in sustainability-inspired careers?
Don’t get caught up in the buzz-wordiness of the term “sustainability.” It doesn’t just mean “green” or “eco-friendly,” really. Fundamentally, it means “the ability to last.” Do something that you know will last, which means something meaningful, both to you and to the marketplace. And, I haven’t found a way to say this without sounding like I just left a Tony Robbins seminar, but…if you’re passionate enough about something (and you have the right support network), you’ll find a way to make it happen. Even if it seems overwhelming. So…you know, go do it.