April 2013 ALAP Meeting Recap

About a dozen brave souls battled a nice Northern Michigan slush-storm for another fine ALAP potluck meeting. After settling in, we first heard a quick five-minute intro from Ambrose Lessard of start-up solar installation and financing company miPHOTON. Lessard’s company is looking to bring low cost solar leases to homeowners and businesses here in Michigan. The concept sounds promising and more can be learned as they ramp up their web presence soon at http://www.miphoton.com.

Our main event speaker was local Fair Trade and organic food hero Timothy Young. After taking a few minutes to discuss the 1980’s Latin American relief work that inspired him to start Food for Thought, Timothy brought us up to speed on the growth of his business and a wide range of initiatives that will take him to the next level. We listened while sampling his products including the very yummy Organic Salsa Virtuosa, and asked more about his plans for the future. A great foundation seems to be in place for Food for Thought, with ample capacity at their green-built production facility, a well-established brand, and a long track record of both propriety product sales and private label partnering. Timothy and Food for Thought epitomize the triple bottom line ethic and I encourage those interested in learning more to visit http://www.foodforthought.net, try some of their products, and join their annual Green Cuisine community gathering this summer.

The final hour of our meeting included some updates on the local investment network (meeting again tomorrow, 9am at Cloud Access) and ideas for future meetings. An area mentioned that several of us are interested in exploring further is the pooling funds to buy real estate in two formats: Buying small farm properties and leasing to organic farm entrepreneurs looking for a bridge to traditional financing and partnering with local green contractors to buy and green-renovate homes in the T.C. area. We hope to continue discussing these possibilities at future meetings.

Our next potluck meeting is Thursday, May 9 from 6pm. Agenda will follow. We continue to seek presenters and new members, so please help spread the word!