Book Reviews

Endorsements for Good Morning, Beautiful Business

“Judy Wicks’ brilliance redefines what a business can be. The White Dog Café modeled what commerce will become if we are to create a livable future. This is business as spiritual practice, business as kindness, business as community, business as justice, joy, transformation, leadership, and generosity. There is nothing here you will learn in business school because the White Dog Café is not in the business of selling life; it’s in the business of creating life. How blessed is Philadelphia and the world for her presence and prescience.”

Paul Hawken, author Blessed Unrest

“Judy Wicks is one of our great leaders and visionaries, and this books makes clear why. She thinks about traditional subjects (“business,” “economics”) in fresh, practical, real, and powerful ways. Read it and then live it yourself!”

Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

“Guided by her own powerful activist sensibility, Judy Wicks beautifully conveys the important influences that a restaurant, or any business, can have within a community—politically, economically, and socially.”

Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food

“Judy Wicks set out to create a business that expressed her values, served her community, and fed her family. She ended up leading a national movement to build local economies that are inclusive and resilient, provide green job opportunities, and conduct business sustainably and responsibly. Good Morning, Beautiful Business is an inspiration—a living, breathing tale of the new American dream in action.”

Van Jones, author of Rebuild the Dream

“Wow. What a woman, what a book. In it, you enter the life of someone who, even as a child, learned that she could create—that she could make things and make things happen. We need Wicks’s confidence and courage now more than ever. So read it and you’ll get some. Her spunk is contagious.”

Frances Moore Lappé, author of EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

“Beware. This is a business book like no other. It will change how you see the world, America, business and the economy and should be required reading in every school of business and department of economics. Judy Wicks teaches us how to succeed at business while managing from the heart, having an outrageously good time, and measuring success as contribution to healthy communities and a world that works for all. Those who take Judy and the White Dog as their model change the world one beautiful business at a time.”

David Korten, co-founder and board chair, YES! Magazine.
Author Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, and
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

“Fun and funny, kind and savvy, Good Morning, Beautiful Business is a rollicking good tale about a rollicking good life. From working as waitress at a restaurant she helps save from demolition at age 23, to becoming a world leader in the socially responsible business movement, activist-entrepreneur Judy Wicks shows how one woman can help build a compassionate, locally sourced economy–and have a blast doing so. These pages are as full of friendships, food, and dancing as they are of great ideas that could apply to businesses in any town. Judy Wicks is an inspiration. By the end of this wonderful book, she seems like an old friend whose example can change your life.”

Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig

“Judy Wicks is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.  She ran the legendary White Dog Café with passion, heart, common sense, and financial success. And she continues to blaze new paths on the road to a truly sustainable people-centered economy. This is a must-read book.”

Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s

“Judy Wicks’s journey is potent medicine for a culture that falsely separates personal life and work,  self and community,  business and environment, and entrepreneurship and activism. Anyone who wants to engage their full entrepreneurial vision, and find their own unique path that may combine seemingly disparate goals, can take heart: this remarkable story is a visionary beacon and joyful read.”

Nina Simons, Co-founder, Bioneers

“If there ever is a Nobel Prize in Planet-Saving, Judy Wicks deserves to be the first recipient.  Besides creating one of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants (the White Dog Café), her legacy includes Pennsylvania’s local food movement, America’s fastest growing network of independent businesses, and entrepreneurs worldwide –especially women – whom she has inspired to make business the leading edge of social change.  In this riveting, funny, and moving autobiography, Judy also reveals herself as a superb storyteller and a sharp policy critic.  Her life story, which unfolds from the Arctic to Chiapas, shows how one passionate person really can bend the arc of history toward justice.”

-Michael H. Shuman, author, Local Dollars, Local Sense:  How to Shift Your Money
from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

“Judy Wicks is something rare, invaluable, and essential in our time: a visionary artisan of cultural renaissance. Read this book. Learn what she’s done and, even more important, how she became who she is. Let her story inspire you more fully into your own cultural artistry.”

Bill Plotkin, author of Soulcraft, Wild Mind, and Nature and the Human Soul

“Judy Wicks followed her passion and trusted her heart; she uncovered and was guided by what makes healthy local businesses thrive; and then she led a movement to share her discoveries and help transform other local economies.  Now, thanks to her vision and leadership, there are hundreds of communities unlocking the power of local commerce for good.  What a gift from a true pioneer who shows us how to unite an avocation with a vocation!”

Will Raap, founder, Gardener’s Supply and Intervale Center

2013 Guest Speaker

2013 Guest Speaker Judy Wicks


Judy Wicks is founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Cafe, which she operated for 26 years, developing a national reputation for environmental stewardship, community engagement, and leadership in the local food movement. Under Judy’s proprietorship, White Dog purchased only humanely and naturally raised meat, poultry and eggs, sustainably harvested fish, and fair trade chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee and tea. Other sustainable practices included recycling and composting, solar heated hot water, eco-friendly soaps and office supplies, and 100% renewable electricity.

In order to help build a whole local economy that supported these practices, Judy founded Fair Food and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, which she supported with twenty percent of business profits through her non-profit White Dog Community Enterprises.

Judy co-founded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in 2001, and has become an international leader, speaker and author in the local living economies movement.

Judy has received numerous awards for combining business success and social action, including the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year and Inc. magazine’s 25 favorite entrepreneurs.

Her memoir, Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer, was published by Chelsea Green in March, 2013.

Good Morning, Beautiful Business:

The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer



Good Morning, Beautiful Business is a memoir about the evolution of an entrepreneur who would not only change her neighborhood, but would also change her world – helping communities far and wide create local living economies that value people, nature and place more than money. Focusing on what it takes to marry social change and commerce, and doing business differently, this inspirational book explores how entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, can follow both mind and heart, cultivate lasting relationships with each other and the planet, and build a new economy that will bring greater security, as well as happiness.
Copies will be on sale at the event!

Click here for more info about the book.



pvSustain is a broad-based network of organizations and individuals who are dedicated to creating a just and sustainable future for the Pioneer Valley region.  Our members include a broad community of sustainability activists and professionals working together to create a flexible and effective regional model for actively advancing sustainability in the Pioneer Valley, which can be applied in other regions of the country.  Our mission is to strengthen our members’ ability to pursue sustainability and environmental equity effectively by:

  • information and idea exchange
  • collaborative approaches to problem solving and visionary thinking
  • giving members the tools they need to integrate sustainable practices and scientific information into both regional and community decision-making

Save the Date!

Fourth Annual pvSustain Celebration

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
4 pm – 9pm

Featuring special guest Judy Wicks

4:00 – 5:00 Cash bar, snacks, networking
5:00 – 6:00 Lightning talks from local experts (email to propose a talk)
6:00 – 6:30 Networking
6:30 – 7:30 Dinner
7:30 – 9:00 Judy Wicks, Q&A, and pvSustain membership drive


Clarion Hotel
1 Atwood Drive
Northampton, MA


$40 pvSustain members
$50 non-members

Table of 8:

$320 members
$400 non-members

Click here to become a pvSustain member today!

Space is limited—register now!

1. E-mail
2. Mail check payable to Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center, Inc to:

Catherine Ratte
60 Congress St, First Floor
Springfield, MA 01104

Or call 413-781-6045 for more info.

Guest Speaker: Judy Wicks

(Click here for full bio and advance praise for Judy’s latest book!)

judy_wicks_smallJudy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her Philadelphia row house in 1983. As the restaurant grew, so did her notion that the strength of her business relied upon the quality of its locally grown ingredients. Envisioning how strengthening relationships among independent, community-rooted enterprises could inspire profound social change, she founded the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia in 2001, and co-founded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies that same year. Judy also founded Fair Food in 2000, dedicated to building a local food system in the Philadelphia region. In 2009, she sold the White Dog through a unique agreement that preserves local, independent ownership and maintains sustainable business practices, including buying from local farmers, composting and using renewable energy. Her book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business was published by Chelsea Green, in March, 2013.

pvSustain Dinner a Great Success!

judy_wicks_smallThank you to all who came to the Fourth Annual pvSustain Celebration on April 16th in Northampton! The evening was a great success with over 120 people in attendance. The night included engaging lightning talks on a variety of sustainability topics, as well as an award presentation for this year’s Champions of Sustainability, the City of Holyoke and Co-Op Power. The event was capped off with a wonderful talk by Judy Wicks, about her experiences running the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, PA and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), which she co-founded. We look forward to seeing you all again next year at our fifth annual event. In the mean time, please consider attending our regular quarterly meetings to say connected.