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enlightened orgs: inspiration

ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS WILL BE FOUND AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

Michael Kalmanovich, owner of a unique, organic food supermarket in Edmonton, Alberta, does not lack for inspired, innovative ideas to fulfill his passion to sell locally grown organic food, socially conscious products, and a free dose of education in the process. He took his first step of faith in 1991 by opening a store with $20,000 invested, $167.00 in his bank account and a huge abundance of dreams.

Earth’s General Store was opened in a small location on the fringe of the university in the capital city of the province. It is also smack dab in the heart of a ranching and oil-based economy. It was in this province that KD Lang, a home-town celebrity, riled local extremist ranchers who defaced community signs outside her home town of Consort, Alberta, after her public service announcement in which she spoke out in favor of vegetarianism.

If opening an organic food store in a business culture like that sounds like it takes guts and a leap of faith, that pales by comparison when you hear Michael’s latest dream!

A STORE WITH INTENTION

“I started the store in 1991 in response to some trends I noticed while conducting workshops on environmentally friendlier lifestyles:

  • People wanted to know where to find the information that I was sharing outside of the workshops and more of it;
  • People wanted to know where to purchase products that lessened their impact on the environment;
  • People were concerned about the world – both environmentally and socially;
  • People were scared;
  • People wanted to do something about what was happening in the world.
I survive by people purchasing items from the store but it is not the purpose of the store to sell products just to sell them and to make profit. The purpose of the store is to create change. It is a tool for change.

“People have the ability to make choices at every decision in their lives. I am not talking about all the big ones where people angst over their decision, I am talking about all those small decisions. Many of these small decisions were made a long time ago and they become routines but these “small decisions” collectively add up to major effects. As a consumer you are always faced with a choice and each choice will involve a compromise.

The people that attain this level are called conscious citizens and since we are creatures that need to consume to survive we can also say that these conscious citizens will also be conscious consumers.”


MICHEAL’S LATEST INNOVATION – GETTING A LOAN FROM HIS CUSTOMERS

Right from the  outset, Michael’s dream was much bigger than the location he has occupied for the past 18 years. Now, in the midst of an economy that has most businesses ducking for cover, he is ready to expand.

But, in a very novel way.

Although he is able to get financing from the bank, Kalmanovich says, “I would rather be beholden to the community rather than to a bank.” (I think I a lot of people around the world today, Michael, would agree with you!).

Two weeks ago, Michael sent a request, through his newsletter, to his regular customers making them an offer.

He is asking for a loan.

Investors will get a 15% discount on their store purchases for purchases up to the amount of the loan! He is also adding a further 5% gift to their loan, which means an investor who puts in $2,000.00 would actually get  $2100.00 in discount credits.

The sentiment of the dozen people who have already donated upwards to $2,000.00, is they see it as a no risk investment, certainly at much higher levels of return than they can get anywhere else today, and mostly, they see it as an investment in their community.

WOW – THAT’S A MUCH BETTER OFFER THAN I HAVE SEEN FROM ANY BANK!

WELCOME! -  EARTH’S GENERAL STORE – to our directory of Enlightened Orgs.

IF YOU LIVE AND SHOP IN THE EDMONTON, ALBERTA AREA, WE HOPE YOU WILL GIVE THIS INNOVATIVE IDEA YOUR SUPPORT. TELL A FRIEND!

Sustainable business will emerge through creativity, innovation and inspiration. This economy is the best possible stimulus to get us thinking and being more creative than we ever dreamed possible.

Does Michael’s idea trigger any others that might make your business more viable and sustainable? If so, let us know!

BLESS BLESS
JUDY BERG


Organizational Behaviour Consultant
author: Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
more about: www.soulabundant.com
Judy’s book can be ordered from her website www.soulabundant.com.  Special prices for bulk orders upon request. Seminars and retreats customized to the needs of your group or organization.

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