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Local Sustainable Business Practices

Learn more about local companies that are making a difference.

Mission: The Music Village, a community musical arts alliance, celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse local and global communities in the heart of downtown South Bend, Indiana. The Music Village strives to demonstrate this by teaching and presenting music that reflects the rich and varied cultural traditions of the South Bend area’s diverse communities. The location of The Music Village expresses our commitment to restoring downtown vitality and vibrancy with its stabilizing presence.

Resources and activities focus on improving and expanding musical arts opportunities for people of all ages, interests, abilities, and backgrounds. At The Music Village, we provide the tools for people to make their own music and use dance to engage with the same. This is a place where young and old, beginners and advanced players, and people from various cultures and traditions come together to create music, experience dance and learn from each other.

The Music Village is a place that provides intimate opportunities for hands-on learning in a relaxed and informal setting, both in its classrooms and in its performance halls. It is a place where residents and visitors can discover their own creativity and unite to share the diverse cultural heritage of the greater South Bend area via the musical arts. Together, we create a thriving, vibrant community of thoughtful individuals with a unifying, positive connection to music.

Number of Employees: 1 fulltime, 13 part-time, and many volunteers! TMV is dependent on its volunteer support for a wide variety of technical, clerical, instructional, etc., tasks. 

What makes TMV unique in terms of its sustainability practices: Part of TMV's mission is to contribute to both the cultural and economic revitalization of the downtown. Students come down for classes while their parents patronize the locally owned coffee house upstairs. Groups leave the jams on Tuesdays to support the locally owned brew pubs and restaurants. Area musicians grow, teach and play at TMV. This means valuable resources, including time, talent, and treasure, stay in the community.

How to Learn more about your business/organization: www.themusicvillage.orgwww.facebook.com/villagemusicalarts; 574-245-SONG (7664); tmv@themusicvillage.org
Visit us! 
Free and open community jam every Tuesday night from 7:00-9:00pm. Don't have an instrument? We'll loan you one! Pros and beginners (and everyone in between) are welcome.
Every First Friday of the month: Meet & Greet instructors, sample an instrument or dance class for FREE, try an instrument, join the jam. First Fridays are a great way to check out the vibe and catch the TMV spirit.
Make an appointment to visit and talk with TMV staff to find out more. 
Opportunities abound! Want to help? Just ask us! TMV offers unpaid internships for credit and recently started a program for volunteers to earn a class.

Fernwood graphic


Fernwood's Mission: To enrich people's lives by awakening and deepening their appreciation of nature and the possibilities of harmony between people, plants, gardens, and wildlife.

Number of Employees: 21, seasonal and full-time

Association with the Center for a Sustainable Future: Fernwood has appeared on WNIT's Experience Michiana with Center Director Mike Keen. Assistant Director Krista Bailey presented a keynote talk at 2013's Garden Symposium, "Meet the Tastemakers."

What Makes Fernwood unique in terms of its sustainability practices: Education and hands-on learning have always been key components at Fernwood. Fernwood reaches more than 4,000 children each year either in the classroom or on-site, throughout summer nature camps, on-site Environmental Studies proram, and their Traveling Naturalist program. As such, they have the challenge and opportunity to influence 4,000 young minds - future responsible stewards of our land.

How to Learm more: Visit their website, find them on Facebook or Pinterest, or call 269.695.6491

wnit

Mission: WNIT is a trusted, community-owned public media source that is dedicated to inspire, inform, educate, entertain, and unify the communities we serve.

Number of Employees:24+
300 West Jefferson Boulevard, South Bend, Indiana 46601

Association with the Center for a Sustainable Future: WNIT produces a weekly segments of Talking Sustainability, featuring short interviews with area sustainability champions in Michiana conducted by Center staff; Angel Hernandez, Vice President for Production, sits on the Center’s Advisory Board.

What makes the business unique in terms of its sustainability practices: Located in downtown South Bend, the location was redeveloped out of an existing building, previously unused after years of operation as a car dealership. The building is earth-friendly and environmentally sustainable.  It is highly efficient to re-use an existing structure rather than constructing a new building.  The Center for Public Media incorporates many of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles into its renovation, including geo-thermal heating and cooling systems and extensive use of natural lighting and skylights.  In addition, WNIT’s new digital transmission uses about half the electricity required to transmit the previous analog signal.

How to Learn more about your business/organization: 574.675.9648; wnit@wnit.org; www.wnit.org

Blueberry Ranch

Blueberry Ranch

Mission:To provide families with the finest organic blueberries.

Motto: Blueberries are good for you, local blueberries are better for you and local organic blueberries from the Blueberry Ranch are the best you can get!

Number of Employees: 85+ employees at the peak of the season!
Founded: The Blueberry Ranch was founded in the late 1950's by Paul Jones, at that time it was called Jones Blueberries. In 1977 John E. Nelson was hired as manager. John bought the farm from Paul Jones' widow in 1982. In 1991 the first organic field was certified. By 2009 all the fields were certified organic.
Location:  54743 Buckeye Rd, Mishawaka IN., in north east St. Joseph County just off exit 83 of the Indiana Toll Rd, one mile east of Bittersweet Rd between Day and Douglas Rd.

Association with the Center for a Sustainable Future: Employs students, feeds our staff (we are avid pickers and eaters!)

What makes Blueberry Ranch unique in terms of its sustainability practices: The Blueberry Ranch is unique in that it is the largest organic blueberry farm in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation. We offer u-pick and prepicked blueberries in season and frozen blueberries out of season. Being certified organic is an assurance to the public that we are as promised! Our organic practices are better for the soil, our neighbors and our customers! Our organic practices create a biologically active soil with an abundance of earthworms, provide a positive environment for beneficial insects and a healthy product for all to enjoy!

How to Learn more about this business: More information is available on our website, BlueberryRanch.com, our mobile website, BlueberryRanch.mobi, on Facebook, or by calling 574-255-5773. Contact John@BlueberryRanch.com

just goods

Just Goods

Mission: Just Goods contributes to a sustainable future by offering and promoting products that are gentle on the earth and produced in fair working conditions. It is the area's only locally-owned green retail store featuring an extensive selection of clothing, housewares, cleaning products, jewelry, and gifts.

Number of Employees: 2
Founded: 2003
Location: 714 E. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend, IN  46617

Association with the Center for a Sustainable Future:  Becky Reimbold, owner, has been a participant in Natural Step workshops, sponsor of rain barrel art auction, and an ardent supporter!

What makes Just Goods unique in terms of its sustainability practices: Just Goods offers hard‐to‐find, high‐quality gifts and products for everyday living in a convenient location with excellent customer service.
Just Goods is the area's only locally-owned green retail store featuring an extensive selection of clothing, housewares, cleaning products, jewelry, and gifts.
Just Goods is the area's expert on fair labor and eco‐friendly consumer goods and is able to provide these products by engaging similarly minded vendors around the world.
Just Goods is a place where people connect around the topics of fair trade, organics, sustainability and more.
Just Goods provides its customers with the ability to make a conscious commitment to our environment and to fair wages around the world.

How to Learn more about your business/organization: justgoods.net, on Facebook, and at 574-286-5878 

NIA logo

Northern Indiana Aqua Products

Mission: NIA proposes to provide the community with healthy produce and seafood. We intend to do so in a way consistent with environmentally sound and sustainable practices, while giving the Elkhart County area a base of employment insulated from financial cycles.

Number of Employees:3

Founded: By John Metz & Kevin Boyer in 2009

Location: Goshen, IN

Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture with hydroponics.  There are significant advantages to collocation of these activities. A pure fish farming facility produces large quantities of waste water, while a specialized hydroponics facility requires large amounts of soluble fertilizer to support plant growth and fruit development. By combining aquaculture and hydroponics in one facility, the nutrient rich waste water is used as fertilizer for plant growth instead of being disposed of as waste.

How to learn more: http://northernindianaaquaproducts.com

email: jandk@northernindianaaquaproducts.com

FiddlersHeader

Fiddler’s Hearth

Mission:  To vicariously transport visitors of all ages to the Celtic nations via entertainment, good food, good drink, good value, friendly service, and the warm atmosphere of a rural public house in Ireland or Scotland.  Fiddler’s Hearth is a comfortable gathering place celebrating the Celts and their role in our early American heritage. 

Number of Employees: 25

Founded: 2002

Location:  127 N. Main St. in the heart of Downtown South Bend’s Dining & Arts District

Sustainability: Focus on the Triple Bottom Line: Sources for revenue include live entertainment, restaurant, and bar, each taking turns in their play at the forefront depending on season, day of the week, local events, and time.” 
Over our 9-year history, we have gradually increased the number of menu items that we make from scratch in-house to include virtually everything but a few traditional Celtic items that we have yet been unable to reproduce with local resources.  Fiddler’s Hearth is the first commercial account to do business with the Purple Porch Co-op of local family farms.  This puts us in a better position to use local natural fresh raw ingredients.  In our recent “Table to Farm” event at Prairie Winds Nature Farm in Lakeville, Fiddler’s pitched a 30’x60’ tent and served a 4-course meal out in a field, made with 99% local natural produce and proteins. See the menu HERE. No disposable service ware was used at our dining table in the tent.  (We used our own glassware, ceramic plates, flatware, and linen napkins.)  The dining tables were decorated with recycled malt vinegar bottles filled with wild flowers from the field next to the tent. We are in the process of establishing a system to reclaim usable restaurant garbage for composting; and are establishing our own garden for growing key produce (especially herbs) for our menu next year.

How to Learn More:
www.fiddlershearth.com
Contact:  Carol or Sean Meehan at (574) 232-2853

Genesis
Genesis Products, Inc.

Mission: To become a business with fully sustainable operations, while developing an environment that creates a positive life for our employees and has a positive impact on everything we touch.
Number of employees: 145

Founded: 2002

Location: 2 facilities in Elkhart, 1 in Goshen

Sustainability: Genesis recycles over 15,000,000 pounds of unused production material yearly, uses Greenguard adhesives, and sources wood from FSC and other responsible forestation certifications. They are currently developing sustainable, closed-loop products and processes at Genesis and with entire supply-chain and a creating longer-term sustainability plan based on the principles of The Natural Step and their 4 System conditions. President Jon Helmuth founded the Sustainability Coalition with other area leaders to create long-term sustainable businesses in the region.

How to Learn more:http://sustainabilitycoalition.wordpress.com/; jonh@genesisproductsinc.com

Mossberg Logo

Mossberg & Company Inc.

Mission: To provide our customers and the communities we serve with high-integrity printed materials and communications solutions.

Number of employees: 135 full-time employees

Founded: 1930 by Herman T. Mossberg

Location: Headquarters at 301 E. Sample, South Bend.
Sales offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo, Chicago, Cincinnati and Des Moines.

Sustainability: Mossberg & Company was the first privately held printer in the region to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which promote the use of paper and other wood products harvested in responsibly managed forests. Mossberg also developed a system that allows re-use up to 75% of pressroom solvents on a daily basis. All excess paper and plastic is recycled in the production and office areas, and we work with our suppliers to utilize the most environmentally friendly inks and solvents. In November of 2008, Mossberg and the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County sponsored a dynamic panel discussion that highlighted the sustainability efforts of several organizations in the region.

How to Learn more: Mike Moran, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, 574-289-9253. www.mossbergco.com.

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Name of Business: Inovateus Solar LLC

Mission: Promoting the use of solar energy by developing turn-key projects and distribution of products.

Number of Employees: 20

Founded: 2005 along with Inovateus Development LLC and became it's own entity in 2008.

Location: South Bend, IN

What makes Inovateus unique in terms of its sustainability practices: Inovateus Solar LLC has been very excited by the Center for a Sustainable Future and helps in any way it can. Nathan Vogel, Sales Director/Project Manager serves on the sustainability advisory board at IU South Bend as well. Inovateus has also been a sponsor of green events promoted by IU South Bend under the guidance of Mike Keen.

What makes the company unique in terms of it's sustainability practices is that Inovateus Solar LLC works with it's partners and customers on implementing solar electric systems. Solar electricity has become a cost effective approach to using clean onsite electricity and save capital on inflating rates from the utilities. While solar energy is not as prevelant in the midwest as it is on the east and west coast, Inovateus Solar LLC brings it's experience to the untapped markets. 

How to Learn more: www.inovateussolar.com