People We Love: Nell Newman

We’ve mentioned here before that we love children, as long as they aren’t our own.

Years ago, back in the mid 1980’s, I worked at a natural foods store in Westport, Connecticut—Paul Newman’s hometown. A woman who worked for ‘the family’ would come in, gracious and quiet and also, a bit weary, I thought, of my boss, a genial loving man, who loved to ask questions. He was the one who told me she worked for ‘the family,’ meaning Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Is it any wonder that kids of famous people sometimes turn out, just a bit different? Celebrity is a weird gift and who could blame the child of someone so famous for doing nothing more than just hiding out. Well lucky for us, this apple from the Woodward-Newman tree didn’t fall far from the orchard, both in terms of commitment to making a difference in the world and just as importantly, in creating product after product that tastes great and means more profits to pass on to just causes.

When we first discovered Ginger-O’s, the ginger sandwich cookie, we thought that we’d died and gone to a sustainable organic heaven. And let’s just say that I don’t leave for a road trip without at least two packages of peppermint cups. (I’m allergic to peanuts so I haven’t tried the others). Furthermore, Nell Newman’s efforts have led none other than the almight golden arches, McDonald’s to sell Green Mountain’s Newman’s Own Organic (and fair trade too) coffee in New England and New York. Creating change through creating good coffee.

More importantly, anyone who volunteers or works in the non-profit sector is painfully aware funding for anything located outside of Iraq is increasingly scarce. As the president of the board of a non-profit acupuncture clinic in San Francisco, I know precisely how much a $500, $1,000 or $5,000 donation goes towards making a difference. So during this time when government seems increasingly asleep at the wheel the fact that there are products out there that make a difference that should make everyone proud to buy a product from Nell Newman.

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