Our Story ~ By Jennifer Young

October 09, 2019 3 min read 4 Comments

Our Story ~ By Jennifer Young

The story of What's Good begins with me. Well actually, my mom.

Back in the early 70's she owned Food for Thought, a natural food store with her best friend, my Aunt Lorraine. The store 
was a thrill for my senses. The smell of herbs. The taste of real ginger ale. The sight of my mom, doing it for herself. And for us.

We were vegetarians, I 
still am (though I admit to an occasional piece of fish). We were into earthy stuff and healthy food. We made yogurt, dehydrated fruit, grew sprouts… you get the picture. It’s hard to know exactly how old I was, maybe kindergarten? Not sure. But even at that young age, I knew she, and therefore we, stood for something. Maybe I didn't have the words, but the feeling was there. We were being thoughtful about our food choices. How it was grown, where it came from, and the quality of the taste. We were a band of sisters, making our way.

The store only lasted a year or two. Maybe it was the location. More likely, it was the cultural challenges these two young entrepreneurs faced. After all, it was the early seventies and my mother was a divorced, single mom trying to sell 'non-traditional' products. No matter, my foundation was built. I would forever gravitate toward people and organizations who pushed barriers with good intent.
 
Fast forward 43 years. After a long run at a company that shared my sense of social and environmental responsibility, and indeed helped me build-on and expand my ethos, I found myself unemployed. My mother had recently passed and I was about to send the youngest of my three boys off to college. There would never be a better time for me to do something that mattered. I knew what I wanted to do. 
 
Finding ethically-sourced green products had always been a challenge. Whether online or brick and mortar, options were limited and expensive. I wanted to shop at a store with products I could trust with a robust selection of the items I used at home — all in one place, at a price that was fair. What’s Good was born. 

The name came quickly because it was already in our family’s vernacular when we discussed eco-friendly products. Our tag line, Shop with Purpose, is a nod to our marketplace. It's also a mantra for all the socially conscious shoppers out there. I know you, because I am you. We look where it’s made. We spend hours in stores because we're reading ingredients. We care what the manufacturer does with its profits and how it treats its employees. We understand the power of our dollar, sometimes driving to multiple stores or paying more, just to register our vote.
 
Our first phase is a boutique collection of products that I personally use or come highly recommended from people I trust most. Like my Aunt Mary, a life long consumer of good products. If she says it’s good. It’s good.
 
Since What’s Good is new, there's lots of opportunity to grow and to do things better. Our vision is to significantly increase the number of products we offer for home and office over the next year. Our at-a-glance ranking system will roll out in 2020 to make identifying the right option for you easier. Our Send-Back and Give-back programs will expand and include some big ideas for fundraising. And, we will be working to significantly increase our content so that we can become a trusted resource when you have questions. We hope you’ll choose to shop with us and be candid with your feedback. 
 
You might be interested to know that shopwhatsgood.com is dedicated to my mom, Kathy Gardner. When I look back at her sweet store, I don’t see failure, I see the first light that guided my spirit. And I remember that gutsy lady who shaped this little girl into a gutsy woman.Thanks Mom. 
 
That’s What’s Good. Thanks for being a part of this new beginning. 
~Jennifer

4 Responses

Amy Mac
Amy Mac

January 23, 2020

First time the “About” section of a website made me cry. Drying my eyes now and off to shop what’s good.

Paul Freeman
Paul Freeman

October 23, 2019

Wow what a great story,? I’m sorry you lost your Mom, your babies and a long term job in a short time. Transitions crack us open and metamorphisis happens. This is so you Jennifer, thank you for creating this service!! I look forward to shopping here with a free conscience.

Oliver Young
Oliver Young

October 23, 2019

Jen
Congrats on this, I always knew you had something like this in your DNA…it showed with your mom too. To branch out and be ones own boss and to have the time to do it with love and the passion and up most character and charisma is something that you yourself can certainly be proud of. Now as your brother in-law, I say let us make this happen and I definately will be shopping your products, I mean they ARE good!!

Ann Cott
Ann Cott

October 17, 2019

Jennifer- Your site and story are both amazing and inspirational! I can’t wait to see this site grow and flourish! #what’sgood

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