Chelsea Green Publishing

Good Morning, Beautiful Business

Pages:320 pages
Book Art:Color illustrations
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603585057
Pub. Date April 03, 2013
Paperback: 9781933392240
Pub. Date March 20, 2013
eBook: 9781603584999
Pub. Date March 07, 2013

Good Morning, Beautiful Business

The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local-Economy Pioneer

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
April 03, 2013


Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
March 20, 2013


Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
March 07, 2013

$17.95 $14.36

It's not often that someone stumbles into entrepreneurship and ends up reviving a community and starting a national economic-reform movement. But that's what happened when, in 1983, Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her house on a row of Victorian brownstones in West Philadelphia. After helping to save her block from demolition, Judy grew what began as a tiny muffin shop into a 200-seat restaurant-one of the first to feature local, organic, and humane food. The restaurant blossomed into a regional hub for community, and a national powerhouse for modeling socially responsible business.

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 and place as much as commerce and that make communities not just interesting and diverse and prosperous, but also resilient.

Wicks recounts a girlhood coming of age in the sixties, a stint working in an Alaska Eskimo village in the seventies, her experience cofounding the first Free People store, her accidental entry into the world of restauranteering, the emergence of the celebrated White Dog Café, and her eventual role as an international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement.

Her memoir traces the roots of her career - exploring what it takes to marry social change and commerce, and do business differently. Passionate, fun, and inspirational, Good Morning, Beautiful Business explores the way women, and men, can follow both mind and heart, do what's right, and do well by doing good.


ForeWord Reviews-

"Wicks first opened her restaurant, White Dog Cafe, on Sansom Street in Philadelphia in 1983. The restaurant became a beacon in the struggling neighborhood and known internationally for its commitment to farm-fresh, fairly traded, organic food—long before such eating habits were in fashion. Readers will be engaged and invigorated as they watch Wicks succeed with her innovative ideas; they’ll also be inspired as her perspective on the world grows in scope from her restaurant to her city to the whole world.

Wicks’ memoir begins far before she opens White Dog Cafe, when she built a fort in the woods at age nine. Readers who are expecting strictly business advice and activism information will wonder why she begins here—but the more literary reader will see that she is examining the power of a sense of place. As a child she felt a strong connection to the woods near her house; as an adult she feels a strong connection to Sansom Street, and eventually the world beyond.

Wicks’ memoir does a fantastic job of sharing how she’s learned and grown through her experiences and travels around the world. Readers will be inspired and will learn about the world and business along the way—but the readers who come away the most satisfied by
Good Morning, Beautiful Business will be those who never lose sight of the fact that Wicks is a sharing a memoir, a story; her goal is not to create a guidebook (though she has the skills and expertise to accomplish it).

While it’s a compelling memoir, readers who want to follow in Wicks’ footsteps would benefit more from a how-to book on the subject that uses Wicks’ success as a model, but emphasizes practical steps and advice for readers. Wicks shares her business knowledge and success with readers, but more than that, she shares her heart and her life."

"Judy Wicks' brilliance redefines what a business can be. The White Dog Café models 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 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

"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 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

"Fun and funny, kind and savvy, Good Morning, Beautiful Business is a rollicking good tale about a rollicking good life. From working as a 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

"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'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

"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 Wicks and the White Dog as their model change the world one beautiful business at a time."--David Korten, cofounder of YES! Magazine and author of Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

"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

"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 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

Publishers Weekly-
Restaurateur and activist Wicks has been an inspiration and a model to her fellow Philadelphia businesses and to adherents to the sustainable-food movement for several decades. This charming memoir follows Wicks from her bucolic small-town childhood to her youthful disillusionment, short-lived marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and early adventures working with him for VISTA in Alaska, where she was struck by the community-focused value systems and vowed to replicate them in her own life. Back in Philadelphia, she and her first husband opened a store selling counterculture products, but, to Wicks’s chagrin, her husband ultimately did not have faith in her abilities. After their divorce, and other restaurant experience, she remarried and had two children, whom she raised above the restaurant she founded—the White Dog Cafe. The Cafe gained international acclaim for its socially responsible business, serving farm-fresh local food and building the local living economy movement. Though its audience is likely to be limited to those already sold on the local food movement, this book is a touching and passionate story of an activist who turned her values into a sustainable and financially solvent endeavor.


  • Winner - Nautilus Award, Gold in Business/Leadership - 2014


Judy Wicks

An international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement, Judy Wicks is former owner of the White Dog Café, acclaimed for its socially and environmentally responsible business practices. She is also cofounder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), as well as founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food — both incubated at the White Dog Café Foundation and supported by the restaurant's profits. In her retail career, Judy was founder and owner of Black Cat, which featured locally made and fair-trade gifts for twenty years. In 1970, Judy cofounded the original Free People's Store, now well known as Urban Outfitters.

Her work has earned numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, the International Association of Culinary Professionals Humanitarian Award and the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Lifetime Achievement Award.

She lives in Philadelphia. Continuing her work to build a new economy, Judy mentors the next generation of entrepreneurs and consults for beautiful businesses.  She can be reached at


October 06, 2015

Judy Wicks at Social Capital Markets 2015

2 Marina Boulevard (at Buchanan Street), Building A, San Francisco, CA, 94123 | Judy Wicks
Judy Wicks will be speaking at the SOCAP15 conference, which is taking place at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, CA. This conference will run from October 6-9.

See all Events by this Author


Bioneers - Judy Wicks (2007) Local Living Economies

Bioneers - Judy Wicks (2007) Local Living Economies

Dowser Video: Judy Wicks on Building a Sustainable Food Move

Selling Without Selling Out

The Wallace Center- Community Food Enterprise: White Dog Caf

Ecofarm 2009- Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks, Owner of the White Dog Cafe, Featured in Edens Lost and Found

Hello Etsy Summit, Berlin- Building Community Through Local Living Economics


The New Bread Basket

The New Bread Basket

By Amy Halloran

For more than 10,000 years, grains have been the staples of Western civilization. The stored energy of grain allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering and build settled communities—even great cities. Though most bread now comes from factory bakeries, the symbolism of wheat and bread—amber waves of grain, the staff of life—still carries great meaning.

Today, bread and beer are once again building community as a new band of farmers, bakers, millers, and maltsters work to reinvent local grain systems. The New Bread Basket tells their stories and reveals the village that stands behind every loaf and every pint.

While eating locally grown crops like heirloom tomatoes has become almost a cliché, grains are late in arriving to local tables, because growing them requires a lot of land and equipment. Milling, malting, and marketing take both tools and cooperation. The New Bread Basket reveals the bones of that cooperation, profiling the seed breeders, agronomists, and grassroots food activists who are collaborating with farmers, millers, bakers, and other local producers.

Take Andrea and Christian Stanley, a couple who taught themselves the craft of malting and opened the first malthouse in New England in one hundred years. Outside Ithaca, New York, bread from a farmer-miller-baker partnership has become an emblem in the battle against shale gas fracking. And in the Pacific Northwest, people are shifting grain markets from commodity exports to regional feed, food, and alcohol production. Such pioneering grain projects give consumers an alternative to industrial bread and beer, and return their production to a scale that respects people, local communities, and the health of the environment.

Many Americans today avoid gluten and carbohydrates. Yet, our shared history with grains—from the village baker to Wonder Bread—suggests that modern changes in farming and processing could be the real reason that grains have become suspect in popular nutrition. The people profiled in The New Bread Basket are returning to traditional methods like long sourdough fermentations that might address the dietary ills attributed to wheat. Their work and lives make our foundational crops visible, and vital, again.

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Runaway Inequality

Runaway Inequality

By Les Leopold

Runaway inequality is now America’s most critical economic fact of life. In 1970, the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEOs and the average worker was 45 to 1. Today it is a shocking 829 to one! During that time a new economic philosophy set in that cut taxes, deregulated finance, and trimmed social spending. Those policies set in motion a process that greatly expanded the power of financial interests to accelerate inequality. But how exactly does that happen?

Using easy-to-understand charts and graphs, Runaway Inequality explains the process by which corporation after corporation falls victim to systematic wealth extraction by banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. It reveals how financial strip-mining puts enormous downward pressure on jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, while boosting the incomes of financial elites.

But Runaway Inequality does more than make sense of our economic plight. It also shows why virtually all the key issues that we face—from climate change to the exploding prison population—are intimately connected to rising economic inequality.

Most importantly, Runaway Inequality calls upon us to build a common movement to tackle the sources of increasing income and wealth inequality. As the author makes clear, the problem will not cure itself. It will take enormous energy and dedication to bring economic justice and fairness back to American society.

The book is divided into four parts:

  • Part I: What is the fundamental cause of runaway economic inequality? What has made our economy less fair and left most of us less secure?
  • Part II: How does the United States really compare with other major developed countries?  How do we stack up on quality of life, health, and well-being?
  • Part III:  What does economic inequality have to do with so many of the critical issues we face, including taxes, debt, education, criminal justice, racism, climate change, foreign trade, and war?
  • Part IV: What concrete steps can we take to begin building a fair and just society?   

From the book: “There is nothing in the economic universe that will automatically rescue us from runaway inequality. There is no pendulum, no invisible political force that ‘naturally’ will swing back towards economic fairness. Either we wage a large-scale battle for economic, social, and environmental justice, or we will witness the continued deterioration of the world we inhabit. The arc of capitalism does not bend towards justice. We must bend it.”

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By Anya Kamenetz

The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis.

The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it.

The roots of the words "university" and "college" both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it's time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid.

The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.

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Occupy World Street

Occupy World Street

By Ross Jackson

Ordinary citizens the world over have long paid the price for the swashbuckling behavior of the corporate and political elite. We've seen the reigning establishment widen the gap between rich and poor, champion endless growth on a finite planet, wreak havoc on developing nations, and ravage ecosystems in a mad race for natural resources.

Now, as demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.

In this refreshingly detailed plan, Ross Jackson shows how a handful of small nations could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, new governance, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.

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