Judy Wicks, BALLE Cofounder and Board Chair Emeritus, is 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.
New for 2013, Judy has written, Good Morning, Beautiful Business: The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local-Economy Pioneer -- 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.
Praise 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