Feel Good World Uses Grilled Cheese to Effect Change

Everybody likes grilled cheese, right?  Vegetarians and carnivores, connoisseurs and cheapskates can all appreciate two pieces of grilled bread and some melty, cheesy goodness in the middle.  When this simple sandwich turns into a staple of social enterprise, it can only be a powerful addition to the green economy.

Feel Good World is operating franchise delis across college campuses nationwide with the vision that simple lunches can go a long way toward ending world hunger.  1 billion people worldwide are malnourished.  Feel Good World operates its delis in a way that chips away at this epidemic, but with a twist.  Lunch has no charge.

In the same model as the One World Cafe (Salt Lake City) and its offshoots SAME Cafe (Denver) and others, the concept is that people come in to eat, and rather than feel like they must get their money’s worth (and therefore overeat), they pay what they feel like their meal was worth, and therefore only eat what they need.  Food at Feel Good World is sourced locally and sustainably and served in biodegradable containers.

Feel Good World, being located exclusively on college campuses, also helps college students become social entrepreneurs.  When I was in college, I tended bar at a London Pub.  It was 6 years after college that I entered the world of green business, but I know that if I had had the opportunity to work at a place like Feel Good World, my path to social entrepreneurship would have been much shorter.

All proceeds from operations at Feel Good World are donated to end world hunger.  It now has 27 chapters, has employed many college students interested in change, helped educate countless thousands of open-minded college students across the country, and donated almost a million dollars in its first couple of years in business.

Not too shabby for a grilled cheese.

Scott Cooney is author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com, a membership-based platform for triple bottom line businesses looking to engage the power of sustainability as a management strategy.

Scott Cooney, Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched GreenBusinessOwner.com, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.