While traveling through Greece, Justin and Ashley Hartman discovered a Greek yogurt shop in Athens. On the 10 hour flight back to the U.S., they created their whole business plan, including a way to reach the needs of the community. Two years later and they have turned their dream into a successful and inspiring business!
OM: What does GCGC stand for?
GCGC: GCGC stands for Get a Cup, Give a Cup. So with every purchase of yogurt we give one away to local food banks in the Phoenixville area. We will give our small yogurt size (3 oz) away for each cup of yogurt purchased regardless of the size a customer buys. We will tally up all yogurt sales on a biweekly/monthly basis and then deliver yogurt to the local food banks. If we have more yogurt than the food banks need we have tickets that can be given to individuals who go to the food banks. The ticket can be brought into GCGC to redeem a free yogurt with a topping.
OM: Why does using organic, local ingredients mean so much to you?
GCGC: There’s a variety of reasons, so we’ll try to keep it brief. Organic is important because of the impact it has on the natural environment. Pesticides are not great for nature and cause all sorts of problems. Those same pesticides are not very good for humans (who would have thought?) and we believe food should be enjoyed the way nature intended it to be.
Local is important because we love to support other local businesses. Additionally, it cuts down on the carbon emissions compared to shipping things across the country or world. And having your suppliers close by doesn’t hurt either when you need things.
OM: Tell us about some of your popular yogurt combinations.
1. Blueberry Mojito - Lemon Greek Yogurt, Organic Blueberries, Mint, Blueberry Honey, Spritz of Lime, Sprinkle of Organic Raw Sugar
2. Cinnamon Bun Dream - Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Organic Apples, Grumpy Bear Granola, Drizzle of Sticky Bun Honey Cream
3. Apple pie - Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Apple Pie Preserve, Grumpy Bear Granola, Drizzle of Golden Nectar Honey, Served w/Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips
4. Raspberry Chocolate Crumble - Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Raspberries, Chocolate Creme Cookie, Raspberry Honey, Chocolate Chunks
1. Guacamole Dip - Original Greek Yogurt, Homemade Guac, Cucumber, Cilantro, Olive Oil, Cracked Pepper, Served w/Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
2. Uncle B's BBQ Dip - Original Greek Yogurt, Uncle B's Barbecue Sauce, Garlic, Spices, Scallions, Served w/Organic Corn Chips
OM: We hear that another important aspect in your business is being environmentally friendly. What kind of eco-friendly products do you use in your business?
GCGC: All of our utensils and cups are compostable or recyclable! We have a stretch goal of being zero waste by composting and recycling everything (so no waste goes to the landfill).
OM: How do you expect to grow in the next few years? Anything exciting planned?
GCGC: Great question; we definitely expect to add more things to are menu with the hopes of being a full blown café. We are considering adding items like soups and sandwiches.
OM: If you could give prospective small business owners a piece of advice, what would it be?
GCGC: Another very good question; I would say try to remember that profit is not everything. So while it can be extremely challenging and expensive to open a small business, the intangible aspects such as the natural environment and local community are important to remember and shouldn’t be simply disregarded for the sake of making money.