by Kristen Steele
In the tumultuous week since a business tycoon billionaire shocked the world by being elected President of the United States, many American corporations have demonstrated their lack of support for the new Administration. The business strategy of leveraging political leanings as a marketing tool is not a new concept, but stands to gain considerable muscle in today’s climate of political polarity. To illustrate the concept, over the weekend we saw a swift cleft in public support for the two ‘sharing economy’ darlings and driving service companies, Uber and Lyft. Uber lost thousands of app users when the company’s drivers broke the strike against the immigration ban at New York’s JFK airport. Meanwhile, Lyft pledged a cool million dollars to support the ACLU’s legal case against Trump’s immigration ban. The success of each company shall be seen in the coming months, but the divisive reputation of the two rivals will undoubtedly impact immediate profits.
In recent years, holistically measuring a business’s success for its impact on environment, culture and profits has gained much traction. Coined “the triple bottom line,” many American businesses underpin their mission statements with respect to the ecological and social impacts of doing business. Far from a marketing ploy, entrepreneurs dedicated to operating between margins of profit and social equity are the creative brains behind many such start-ups.
In Humboldt County, we have no shortage of businesses doing good for the community in the form of donations, job creation and environmental conservation. In the spirit of recognizing such businesses, this week we’re highlighting two Humboldt Made members, Kinetic Koffee and Dick Taylor Chocolate, who went above and beyond to give back to our community. By collaborating on both the design and the raw ingredients, Kinetic Koffee and Dick Taylor created the ‘Gear to My Heart’ chocolate bar. A pocket-sized bar of Dick Taylor’s sustainably-sourced chocolate laced with Kinetic’s Koffee’s Sumatra coffee beans, all proceeds of the ‘Gear to My Heart’ bars go to the Kevin Ebbert memorial fund. Ebbert was a well-loved member of the Humboldt community who was tragically killed in 2012 during active duty in Afghanistan. Kevin's love for the redwoods, dark chocolate and being active is remembered through the charitable work of the Ebbert Memorial Fund. Local graphic designer David Bethuy (Color & Kind) designed the packaging and Lynn Jones (Just My Type Letterpress) hand-stamped each unique package.
Available with or without a coffee infusion, the beautifully packaged bars are $6.99 each and available from Kinetic Koffee and local retailers. To support Humboldt Made businesses setting high standards for the triple bottom line, go buy (and eat!) a ‘Gear to My Heart’ bar as soon as possible. Your heart will thank you.