Honest Tea Recognized along with Six New Connecticut Social Entrepreneurs

HARTFORD Conn.—On Tuesday, October 29th, reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust, awarded six outstanding social enterprises with public recognition and cash prizes up to $5,000 at the Third Annual Social Enterprise Awards, “A Taste of Social Enterprise.” reSET also honored Honest Tea, a national social enterprise with roots in Connecticut. Accepting for Honest Tea was Dr. Barry Nalebuff, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, who gave remarks to the audience of nearly 200 guests. The event was held at The Society Room in Hartford, Conn.

Fifty four social entrepreneurs from across the state of Conn. applied to the 2013 Social Enterprise Challenge; applicants were narrowed down to 10 finalists who were evaluated by a panel of business experts.

“reSET is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of entrepreneurs across Connecticut who demonstrate a deep commitment to helping communities become safer, happier, and healthier places for all of our citizens.” Said Program Director Michelle Cote “Each awarded business reinforces the idea that it is possible to generate profit and serve a social purpose at the same time.”

The top five social enterprises received recognition at the Social Enterprise Awards celebration for having the best and most sustainable social enterprise business plans, and for effectively demonstrating that their businesses could improve the community and create jobs, and generate both purpose and profit.

The 2013 Social Enterprise Award winners are:

• Ray Xiong, New Haven, Conn., Farmivore, received the Boehringer Ingelheim More Health through Innovation Award. Ray.xiong@aya.yale.edu 901-825-0094

Farmivore offers community supported agriculture co-ops with affordable e-commerce and marketing platforms, and provides consumers with an easy way to search, pay for, and join a community supported agriculture program.

• Lon Seidman, Ivoryton, Windsor, and West Hartford, Conn., Independent Media Network, LLC, received the reSET Community Impact Award. lon@imnct.com 860-577-0566

Independent Media Network provides training sessions and informational meetings with community members while providing accurate and valuable information to the community, in order to preserve independent media.

• Leslie Krumholz, Guilford, Conn., Good Streets. leslie@imbya.com

Good Streets is a social enterprise that brings Main Street businesses on line to help consumers find great local establishments. Neighborhood business owners and customers can use this trusted site and in so doing receive authentic reviews, which helps to create dialogue and collaboration between local businesses and their customers.

Roger LaChance, East Windsor, Conn., Yummy CT. reldistributors@gmail.com 860-370-9210

Yummy CT takes a farmers market and puts it on an old school bus to help distribute fresh, Connecticut- grown fruits, vegetables, and specialty foods to Connecticut communities that are considered food deserts. The objective is to provide fresh healthy foods to communities that otherwise would have limited access.

Dr. David Shearer, Old Saybrook, Conn., Therapeutic Research Foundation. dshearer@tr-f.org 860-339-5272

TRF’s mission is to develop innovative, affordable, and therapeutic medical solutions to address the unmet global health needs of all people, even the solutions considered less profitable by other mainstream medical research companies.

For the first time this year, reSET added an award to reflect the community’s voice through a People’s Choice Award. The public was able to vote on their favorite by viewing videos created by finalists and posted on reSET’s website. The People’s Choice winner was:

  • David J. Rubin, Simsbury, Conn., ElectroSpin University rubin@electroSpinu.com 203-213-4866

ElectroSpin University is promoting a healthier, more fit, and eco-friendly culture through a one-of-a-kind group indoor cycling class titled Rage and Recharge that uses electric dance music to make playlists scientifically designed to improve exercise efficiency. The team is also working on ways of recapturing energy expended through exercise and pumping it back into the community’s electrical grid.

“Boehringer Ingelheim supports More Health Through Innovation Award to recognize a business idea that has significant social value,” said Lilly Ackley, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Farmivore offers an e-commerce solution to Community Supported Agriculture that can help make Connecticut a healthier community.”

reSET honored the renowned social enterprise Honest Tea with the reSET Social Enterprise Innovator Award for its community impact and corporate conduct, which has inspired others. Honest Tea values simplicity, fair dealings, partnerships, the environment, and sustainability. Dr. Barry Nalebuff, Milton Steinbach Professor of Management at the Yale School of Management, accepted the award on behalf of Honest Tea.

In his remarks, Dr. Nalebuff described for guests how he and former student Seth Goldman were able to take an idea in 1997 for producing an all-natural brand that would create healthy and honest relationships with its customers, suppliers and the environment and form a business, which reported sales topping $71 million in 2010.

Dr. Nalebuff and Seth Goldman have co-authored a new book titled Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently ? and Succeeding. Copies of the book were available at the awards event. Dr. Nalebuff signed copies of the book while talking with guests.

In the spirit of growing social enterprise in Connecticut, “A Taste of Social Enterprise” also celebrated locally-grown food and featured local farms and businesses that served up a menu showcasing Connecticut-grown foods.

The reSET Community Space opened at 99 Pratt Street in Hartford in June 2013. Social entrepreneurs, small businesses, and freelancers continue to join the growing community. In addition, reSET has supported the launch of 19 new social enterprises in the state of Conn., and supported the success or growth of nine social enterprises in the state. reSET has also established the Social Enterprise Investment Fund, which will begin to offer loans to investment-ready social entrepreneurs in January 2014. The Social Enterprise Trust is also working to encourage passage of benefit corporation legislation in Conn.

For more information about reSET, visit www.socialenterprisetrust.org. Call 860-560-9120 to make an appointment to visit the reSET Community Space, or drop in Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 6 pm without an appointment.
Contact Information:
Meryl Willett
Community Builder
Phone: 860-560-9120 ext. 204