history | programs | accomplishments | staff | board | funders
History of the White Dog Café Foundation
The White Dog Café Foundation (WDCF), officially chartered as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in October 2002, started with two original programs Fair Foodand the Sustainable Business Network. Over the last 20 years, the White Dog Café has become a model enterprise, known nationally for its community involvement, environmental stewardship and responsible business practices. Food is purchased with a commitment to buying humanely raised animal products and sustainably grown produce from local family farmers. One hundred percent of electricity is purchased from wind power generated in Pennsylvania. And the Café currently employs over 100 people in living wage jobs. The White Dog exemplifies what we refer to as the "Triple Bottom Line" of people, planet and profit in business.
Realizing that creating one model enterprise is not enough, the White Dog Café Foundation was founded to take what has been learned and modeled at the Café to a higher level of social impact. The Café contributes 20% of its profits to the Foundation and other non-profit organizations that share our values. Café customers make significant financial contributions, and earned income and foundation grants complete our financial support. Unlike many non-profits, we use the marketplace as a vehicle for social change. Business can be a powerful force in confronting many of the problems we face wealth disparity, the breakdown of both rural and urban communities, environmental degradation, and the scarcity of meaningful employment. The Foundation programs support locally owned farms and businesses that, like the White Dog, serve the needs of customers, employees, our community and the Earth.
Fair Food - Fair Food addresses the role of food in a local, living economy by supporting a humane, sustainable agriculture system for our region. We aim to build wholesale markets for local farmers, improve distribution channels for locally grown food, increase consumer access to local food grown with care for people, animals and the earth, educate people about the value of locally and sustainably raised food and increase the supply of humanely and naturally raised animal products in the Philadelphia marketplace.
Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) Effective October 1, 2006, SBN spun off from the White Dog Café Foundation to incorporate as a separate nonprofit organization. Since it became a formal project in 2002, SBN operated as a program of White Dog Café Foundation (WDCF). From the beginning, the intention was to spin SBN off as a separate organization once it was ready to stand on its own. Four years were spent building programs, developing a membership base of over 400 local businesses and building organizational capacity for both SBN and WDCF. The SBN spin-off was enthusiastically approved by the SBN Steering Committee on June 13th and by the WDCF Board on June 26th.
SBN is a founding member of the national Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) - www.livingeconomies.org. A living economy supports both community and natural life, while sustaining long-term economic viability. Visit www.sbnphiladelphia.org for more information.
, Executive Director - Andrew joins the White Dog Café Foundation team with over eighteen years of nonprofit leadership experience, including as deputy director of a statewide environmental group and media officer for Greenpeace USA. Andrew most recently developed and ran a specialty consulting business, with a primary focus on capacity-building training for over two dozen organizations. Projects included customized coaching on strategic planning, media skills, board development and training, and resource development. While with Clean Air Council, Andrew co-created the region's first for-profit wind energy company. His Greenpeace experience includes directing public relations and media activities onboard the Motor Vessel 'Greenpeace' for a five-month campaign. Andrew has served in volunteer leadership posts at the Sustainable Development Fund, Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Community Energy, Inc., GRASP, and the Philadelphia Recycling Advisory Committee. Andrew earned his History / Anthropology degree at Emory University and has continued his education at Alliance Francaise, Drexel University (business management), and nonprofit management coursework at University of Pennsylvania and the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University, where he is an affiliated instructor and consultant.
, Farmer Outreach Project Manager - John's first role at the Foundation was as a Farmstand volunteer. He was a key organizer for the Local Grower / Local Buyer gathering last year. John also compiled the 2006 print and online local food wholesale guide for chefs and retailers. John grew up in the rural heartland of Lancaster County and has been managing our farmer outreach and education work. John received his B.A. in Sociology and Religion from Manchester College in Indiana. Mr. Eshleman is an a avid cyclist and dedicated local foods advocate.
, Farm to Institution Project Manager - Lindsay is a professional cook and cooking teacher and entrepreneur with 29 years experience in the food industry and 19 years cooking and teaching in the Delaware Valley. A native of New Zealand, Lindsay moved to the US in 1987 to continue her study of "Food as a healing tool". Lindsay first became involved with Fair Food in the early days seeking assistance in finding local farmers to supply her catering business. Her passion for locally grown foods lead her to become a key supporter, lending her time and expertise to the organization. In 2005 Lindsay was contracted by Fair Food to run a farmer outreach project and produce a series of workshops for farmers on selling direct to the wholesale marketplace. Lindsay also serves on the boards of Green Village Inc. and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.
, Fair Food Director - Ann Karlen is the founding Director of Fair Food, launched in 1999 as the first program of the White Dog Café Foundation. To further Fair Food's mission of making connections between Philadelphia chefs and farmers in Southeast Pennsylvania, Ms. Karlen consults with farmers, chefs and other wholesale buyers to help build business relationships and bring more local food into the Philadelphia marketplace. In addition, she runs the Fair Food Farmstand, a retail farmstand open year-round, Wednesday through Friday in the Reading Terminal Market. Selling all local produce, meat, cheese, dairy, and value-added products, the Farmstand provides consumer access to sustainable and humanely-raised farm products and education about sustainable local food systems to thousands of people each year.
, Program Associate - Leah began working in the field of sustainable agriculture in 2004, after receiving a BA degree in Environmental Studies and Public Policy from The College of William & Mary. She has spent two seasons apprenticing on organic farms in Connecticut and Maine learning vegetable production, marketing techniques, and how to raise sheep and chickens. Between farming seasons, Leah worked as a VISTA volunteer at the Maine Department of Agriculture, assisting with the Maine Senior FarmShare Program, Maine's version of the federally-funded Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. Her other work experiences include agricultural business consulting and managing the office of a womens' health foundation. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2006, Leah has enjoyed discovering the many local food venues, farmers' markets, and progressive organizations that the city has to offer.
, Director of Marketing and Communications - John received a BA in French from University of Maryland and is currently a candidate for a Masters in Organizational Management from School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, VT. John's work experience includes consulting for start-up architectural salvage companies, teaching in public schools, and managing an international youth hostel. John's strengths include the ability to identify market opportunities and facilitate working relationships among disparate individuals and organizations. He brings enthusiasm and passion for entrepreneurship as a means of building community, strengthening democracy and bringing about a socially and environmentally sustainable, industrial revolution. John coordinates the Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign, The Brewer's Plate, Fair Food Membership, The Philadelphia Local Food Guide, IT, PR and Marketing for the White Dog Café Foundation.
, Manager of Fair Food Farmstand - Emily Teel began working with Fair Food as a volunteer in May 2005 after completing a BA in Feminist & Gender Studies and History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. Her senior thesis: "Queering the American Family and Conceptualizing Postmodern Parenthood" explores issues of identity and notions of belonging in today's culture where the term "family values" is so often invoked and misconstrued. As a student she lived in cooperative housing and conducted research on the domestic architecture of green communities in Scandinavia. Her introduction to the local foods movement happened in the dining rooms and kitchens of the Philadelphia restaurants where consulted and managed following her graduation; most recently, the well-loved South Philadelphia BYOB Pumpkin. What began as a weekly volunteer shift in Reading Terminal Market at the Fair Food Farmstand is now a full time position, as the stand has become a permanent market vendor selling local produce, meat, dairy, and value-added products from over 75 sustainable, family farms in the Philadelphia region. Currently, Ms.Teel is responsible for the daily operations of the stand including all ordering and volunteer training. She also works with Ann Karlen and Lindsay Gilmour on the Farm to Institution Project.
, Program Associate - Amanda Wagner joins the White Dog Café Foundation with a love of eating and cooking good food and a background in community-based food advocacy and research. While pursuing a B.A. in Sociology at Franklin and Marshall College, she found ways to study women, food and cooking in Jamaica, organic farming in Italy, and food buying practices in Lancaster. She also conducted outreach during the summers for the Norristown Farmers' Market. Amanda gained experience in food policy and cross-country initiatives serving post-graduation as an Emerson Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center, including work at an innovative food bank in Tucson, Arizona and with the Community Food Security Coalition's D.C. policy office. Currently, she is pleased to contribute to the Fair Food Program's farmer outreach and farm to institution work. She is also participating in her own time on an initiative to involve more youth in food policy and planning to improve her gardening skills this coming season.
Our Board of Directors
Suzanne Anastasi Aloi, Treasurer - Ms. Aloi joined The Reinvestment Fund in 1998 to maintain TRF's internal control system, coordinate external audits, and oversee accounts payable, payroll, and grant reporting functions. Ms. Aloi's 18 years of diverse accounting experience includes 13 years in nonprofit accounting and 4 years as Controller of The Cooper Foundation. She holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a BBA, with a concentration in accounting, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Marilyn Anthony - Marilyn Anthony has worked in the hospitality field for many years as a chef, caterer, and general manager of small businesses. For over a decade Anthony worked for a regional food company as an operations manager and a director of corporate sales. She recently rejoined the Philadelphia restaurant community as CEO for White Dog Enterprises, Inc to take the company through a transition. Anthony’s previous board experiences were at Weavers Way Coop in Mt. Airy, where she chaired the education committee, then served as Coop president. She is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and local economies.
Leslie Benoliel - Exective Director, Philadelphia Development Partnership (PDP). Under her leadership, PDP has grown significantly, more than doubling client participation in its lending and training programs, disbursing over $130,000 in loans to entrepreneurs and raising more than $2 million to support PDP's operations and increase its loan fund. Prior to her current position, Leslie spent eight years as PDP's Program Director and Loan Fund Manager, where she was instrumental in the development and launch of the loan fund and the establishment of PDP's CDFI. She also spent several years in New York as a commercial loan officer at a major international bank, but her desire to help people in neighborhoods drew her back to her hometown of Philadelphia and to PDP. Complementing her professional work, Leslie chairs the Small Business Lending Task Force of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition's Community and Economic Development Committee, is an executive committee member of the Pennsylvania Micro-enterprise Coalition, a board member of Rebuilding Together, a volunteer housing rehabilitation organization, and board treasurer of Mt. Airy USA, a local community development corporation. Leslie is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Tim Bowser - Tim Bowser is director of FoodRoutes Network, an organization working to help rebuild local food systems around the U.S. An itinerant bioregionalist, he has long promoted sustainable food and farm systems from a 'local first, foodshed second, fair trade always, industrial never' standpoint. Bowser was founder and long-time director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and produced that organization's renowned Farming for the Future Conference for 10 years. He was the Co-chair of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture from 1997-2004 and serves on the board of the Centre County Farmland Trust. He is also co-owner of a small café that serves local foods and locally roasted fair trade, organic coffee to the denizens of his hometown of Millheim PA.
Sue Ellen Klein, Board Chair - Sue Ellen Klein is a teacher, an administrator, and a community activist. Since 1994, she has been Director of Community Programs at the White Dog Café. She is a founder of Neighborhood Bike Works and served as chair of its Board of Directors for four years; she continues to serve as its vice-chair. A member of the Bread and Roses Community Funding Board, she has served on the Boards of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Mural Arts Program, the Philadelphia Student Union, and The Shefa Fund. She has three daughters, a grandson, and holds a doctoral degree in biology.
Jeremiah White - Jeremiah White is the CEO of Osiris Group, a marketing firm that works with nonprofits and for profit corporations throughout Philadephia. He has over 30 years experience in real estate and small business development, technical and management consulting, community development and human services. He has served on the board of numerous nonprofits, including as Chair of the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium and President of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia. He holds a MA in Health Planning from Antioch College.
Judy Wicks, President - Judy Wicks is founder and CEO of Philadelphia's 21 year old White Dog Café, and is a national leader in the local, living economies movement. She is co-founder and co-chair of both the national Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and the local Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN). She is also president of the White Dog Café Foundation, dedicated to building a local living economy in the Philadelphia region. Judy has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Business Enterprise Trust award, founded by Norman Lear, for creative leadership in combining sound business management with social vision. More recently, she received Business Ethics Magazine's first "Living Economy Award." Other accolades include the American Benefactor's "America's 25 Most Generous Companies," Conde Nast Traveler list of top 50 American restaurants, and Inc. Magazine's 25 favorite entrepreneurs in the country.
Sharon Wilson, Board Vice Chair - Sharon Wilson is a center city attorney concentrating her practice on business and estate issues. She is also an adjunct professor of law at Temple University Law School where she has taught business law and supervised the business clinical education program for the past 6 years. She recently stepped down as Chair of the Board of Community Legal Services. Her main area of interest in terms of the WDC Foundation is promoting healthy food access to low-income communities in Philadelphia.
A special thanks to all of the individuals, foundations and businesses that support the White Dog Café Foundation. . Major Funders include the White Dog Café, The Samuel S. Fels Fund, Farm Aid, The Claneil Foundation, the Douty Foundation, the Allen Hilles Fund, the US Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, Fair Food members, and the generous support of White Dog Café customers and other individual donors.