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GOOD Maker Partner: A Vermont Creperie is Taking Local to the Next Level

The Skinny Pancake takes the ethos of individuals who vote conscientiously with their wallets and applies it to a commercial scale.

When Jonny and Benjy Adler started serving their flavorful crepes from a vending cart on the Burlington promenade in 2003, they didn't imagine that the Skinny Pancake would become the social enterprise success story that it is today. The brothers have since opened two brick-and-mortar eateries in their native Vermont and built a loyal following of sweet tooths and epicures alike, all while preserving their secret ingredient: a business model that values the common good over the bottom line.

The Skinny Pancake takes the ethos of individuals who vote conscientiously with their wallets and applies it to a commercial scale. “As a business, our impact is compounded by the volume we purchase. We know we can achieve a great amount of good simply by being deliberate in how allocate our resources,” says Benjy Adler. Every crepe dish on the menu is made using fresh, local and sometimes unconventional ingredients, like rabbit from Fresh Tracks Game and Poultry Farm in West Haven, and yak from Vermont Yak Company in Waitsfield. Because the Skinny Pancake is committed to sourcing its food locally, the company funnels several thousand dollars back into the hands of small, sustainable farms every year, creating an economic ripple effect that extends well beyond their own profit margins.

Every quarter through GOOD Maker, the creperie also offers a $500 grant to an organization promoting sustainable agriculture and the local food movement. Benjy sees it as a natural extension of their community-minded business practices. “Rather than pay for more ad space, we can create a positive impact while still promoting the Skinny Pancake,” he says. Last spring, with a $500 grant, the Hinesburg Community School broke ground on a garden that will supply its cafeteria with fruits and veggies. Another recent winner, the Family Center of Washington County, used their funds to build a short boardwalk with an edible plant garden. And, from now through February 9, the GOOD community is invited to vote for their favorite entry in the Skinny Pancake Community Garden Challenge.

If you’re a small business interested in offering a Challenge through GOOD Maker, drop us a line: maker@goodinc.com. For a look at the latest funding opportunities, visit maker.good.is.


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via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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