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UW-Green Bay students developing sustainable business that encourages good nutrition

Students Maria Romfoe and Sam Hunt present their idea at the UWGB student business idea competition in March. Photo courtesy of UWGB

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students Sam Hunt and Maria Romfoe are working to develop an eco-friendly nonprofit that encourages good nutrition. Hunt and Romfoe noticed a void in the market to provide locally sourced, prepared food at an affordable price. Their solution is to develop a self-sustaining service called 'Eco Food.'

The model of 'Eco Food' is to provide low-cost foods in reusable mason jars for customers to pick up and return on a weekly basis. The jars would then be sanitized for reuse. Food orders would be placed in advance, ingredients would be sourced locally, and the food would be prepared in a commercial kitchen. While companies exist that meet the market need for people who want to eat local, healthy food but don't have time to prepare it, they are usually prohibitive in cost and are environmentally unfriendly due to the amount of packaging waste.

Hunt and Romfoe presented their business idea at the 2017 UW-Green Bay student business idea competition, as well as in the WiSys sponsored 2017 Innovation in Aging student competition held at UWGB. They applaud the school for working to inspire entrepreneurship. 

Hunt, who will be a 2017-18 WiSys Student Ambassador representing UW-Green Bay, says his goal is to help people.

"Social businesses pay no dividends to private owners," Hunt said. "Their goal is to be self-sustaining through sales revenue while aiming to maximize the benefit to society by providing a beneficial product at the lowest possible price."

Hunt will spend the summer trying to get the nonprofit up and running, and hopes to obtain a loan from KIVA, a nonprofit that works to expand access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world.

Learn more here.