Outside the box

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

By Linda Baker

1111_OutsideTheBox_01
Scott Fitzsimons and Genevieve Rades at A Little Bit of Smoke food cart at SW Ninth and Alder. The cart participates in the GO Box program. 
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

It takes a village to raise a business. That’s the attitude adopted by GO Box, a startup that aims to reduce waste generated by disposable food cart containers. The company, which launched this past summer, relies on a volunteer network of local shops and restaurants to help distribute its reusable food cart containers.

“It’s a business based heavily on partnerships,” says GO Box founder Laura Weiss, a former Oregon Environmental Council staffer. After paying cart vendors a one-time $8.50 fee for a container, customers drop off the used GO Box at one of three local businesses: the Westside Athletic Club, Woonwinkel and Pedal Bike Tours. Riding her cargo bike, Weiss then transports the dirty containers to the Bijou Café and The Original, two restaurants that wash the containers free of charge.

At the drop sites, customers receive a token to be exchanged for another clean container.

What’s the payoff for the participating businesses? “The idea of new customers coming into the store, who may not have otherwise, is enticing,” says Woonwinkel co-owner Erica Essink.

“The concept is really impressive,” says Bijou Café owner Kathleen Hagberg. “And we know what it’s like to start a business.”

As of mid October, Weiss had signed up 250 subscribers, as well as 22 cart vendors who pay up to $40 a month for the containers. Employers such as Ecos Consulting and Mercy Corps also pay up to $100 a month for an onsite drop box. Such community involvement is the key to waste reduction, Weiss says. Fortunately for GO Box, “We have a very progressive business community.”

 

Comments   

 
todd
0 #1 An Idea Who's Time Has Cometodd 2011-11-01 18:06:14
With the rise of the food carts it's only natural something had to be done to offset the amount of trash created by them. Goboxpdx is just the right business at just the right time. It just goes to show how environmentalis m and business can work great together.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS