Judy Wicks is a restauranteur with a mission. On this week’s Good Food segment, Daniel Meyer calls Judy to talk about how restaurants can be a vehicle for local social change. As an entrepreneur, Judy is best known for Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Cafe, which she founded in 1983 on the first floor of her house and managed for 26 years. After helping to save her block of Victorian brownstones from demolition to make way for a proposed mall of chain stores, she grew what she began as a tiny muffin shop into a 200-seat restaurant featuring fresh local food. Under Judy’s leadership, White Dog became a leader in the local food movement, purchasing sustainably grown produce from local family farmers, and only humanely and naturally raised meat, poultry and eggs, sustainably harvested fish, and fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Other business practices she implemented at White Dog include paying a living wage, mentoring inner-city high school students, recycling and composting, solar-heated hot water, eco-friendly soaps and office supplies, and purchasing 100% of electricity from renewable sources- the first business in Pennsylvania to do so. Tune in and learn more about Judy’s recent book Good Morning, Beautiful Business! This program has been sponsored by Route 11 Potato Chips, and today’s music has been brought to you by The California Honeydrops.
“The White Dog was a community gathering place. People would come there to discuss the issues of the day. I think people valued The White Dog not just because of the good food, but because people wanted to be a part of a community of like-minded people.” [14:00]
— Judy Wicks on Good Food