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Jim Kupczyk

Love serving heart-centered, conscious based businesses. Founder- mindfulmarket.com

Conscious Business Spotlight: Quick Pickle Kit

What is a conscious business?

Conscious businesses operate based on a simple idea that business is about more than making profit. Moreover, it is an approach to commerce built on a universal truth that people aspire to meaning and purpose, to flourishing and fulfillment.  Clearly profit is a good thing, and can be made using ideas like trust, collaboration and compassion. In short, business is good, ethical, noble & heroic.

Quick Pickle Kit is a conscious, women-owned business that strives to create nostalgia while giving pack to diverse communities. Their famed product is the “Quick Pickle Kit”. Want something sweet? Perhaps try the Sweet Pickling Trio Pack. Likewise, maybe something more classic? Consider their version of the Dill Pickle in a trio pack. This offering makes 15 gallons of pickles (now THAT’S a lot of pickles!). Furthermore, their natural blends are non-GMO, cholesterol free and include probiotics. In addition, they offer a host of other positive attributes important to consumers who shop based on values unique to themselves.

As a result of their wonderful efforts, Quick Pickle Kit won the Small Business Persons of the Year Award in 2019. Indeed this is an incredible testament to owners Andrea Wasko and Meaghan Gilbert. Their entrepreneurial journey began with Andrea’s mother’s recipes which have been in her family for over 100 years. Now, they are sharing them with the world.

Quick Pickle Kit partners Andrea Wasko and Meaghan Gilbert

Conscious businesses make a positive impact.

Quick Pickle Kit provides jobs for adults with disabilities, donates a portion of their sales to nonprofits and partners up with schools and nonprofits. “We’re on a mission to utilize our business and our products as tools to create a healthier and more caring world.”.

Feel good when you support Quick Pickle Kit knowing you are helping to support their many initiatives which are making the world a better place. Thank you, Andrea and Meaghan, for being authentic conscious entrepreneurs!

What We Need to Bring Into 2021, and What We Need to Leave Behind

As we approach 2021, we want to acknowledge the things we have learned, the moments that have challenged us, and the lessons we hope to carry into the new year. Reflecting on the solitude and distance that has been a common theme this year there is a sense of burnout and fatigue. But I believe there are also moments where we have seen the resilience and strength of humanity unfold before us. Mother nature needs us more than ever, BIPOC need us to step up and acknowledge our privilege, high risk individuals need us to do our part and wear a mask… The list goes on… Since this year has been overwhelming enough, here is a list of things I think we need to carry into the new year and things we need to leave behind. 

What We Need to Bring Into 2021

The keyword here is “need”. We are boiling down to the essentials because that is what is necessary in order to change the course of our world and our own well-being. So what do we need to bring with us into 2021 to ensure a better future and a sense of evolved normalcy once again?

Reusable Necessities

There is too much proof. Too many options and too many excuses to keep going for single-use items. It’s time to carry more reusable essentials into our day-to-day lives for 2021. Enough of the plastic straws. Enough of the takeout napkins and utensils. We need to acknowledge that these little moments in our lives are creating a greater impact. This holiday season, consider investing in more reusable necessities. You can find plenty of options right here at Mindful Market.

Compassion

We need more compassion for our earth, for others, and for ourselves. This year has uprooted and exposed so many aspects of our world that have been hurting for a long time. Instead of clinging to defensiveness, we need to have more compassion. Be gentle with ourselves through hardships and acknowledge the hardships that others move through. 

Self-reflection

The more time we have had to remain home, the more time we have had to reflect on the meaning and purpose of life. Why are we here? What is my purpose? How am I taking part in improving the lives of others? Self-reflection is such a powerful tool and costs nothing. Bringing this exercise into 2021 will make all the difference within our steps forward.


What We Need to Leave Behind

The hate, the fear, the disconnection. 2020 has been a testament to how much we have numbed ourselves to the world around us. It has held a mirror up to our society and asked over and over again, “Is this the world you truly want to live in?”.

Plastic

Stop. Using. Plastic. I am also a culprit and it is a challenge since so many companies are still reliant on plastic to package products. The more we can do to stop investing in the plastic, the stronger the message we send to companies about what matters – Mother Nature.

Comparison

It has always been easy to get sucked into the comparison vortex thanks to social media. Productivity and accomplishment always seems to be the common theme, but if you simply moved through 2020 just focusing on survival, your mental health/well-being or both. That is enough. You are enough. Let go of the idea that what you see on social media is a standard you have to live up to.

Burnout

We are ALL feeling this in one way or another. I am not saying you can simply drop burnout on command, but you can start addressing its place in your life and find resources to balance things out again. Therapy, yoga, nature bathing, meditation, and journaling are a few of my favorite go-to’s when I am feeling the burnout blues. 

What do you need to bring into 2021 and what do you need to leave behind? Just some food for thought.

Want To Advance An Unpopular Cause? Sell Popular Stuff.

Around this time last year, Burger King’s new, meatless Impossible Whopper was a sandwich celebrity. 

Its debut was so successful that patty supplier Impossible Foods ran low on its fake beef. In St. Louis, Mo, the first city to experience the craze, Burger King foot traffic increased by 18.5% for April. And for 2019’s third business quarter, sales rose by 5% at Burger Kings that had been open for at least a year. This was the company’s strongest growth since 2015.

Counterintuitively, most of the customers behind this success weren’t vegetarians.

In fact, Burger King never marketed the Impossible Whopper towards vegetarians. Neither did Impossible Foods, who aims its fake meat at omnivores for a cause — the company hopes that by making ultra-realistic meat substitutes, it will make meat obsolete by 2035

“I love vegetarians and vegans as much as the next guy,” said Pat Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, “but that is not the customer we care about.”

Impossible Foods’ plan just might work, because according to research firm The NPD Group, a whopping (pun intended) 90% of people who eat fake meat also eat the real kind. The firm states that these customers appreciate having options. Many of them, especially Millennials, use plant-based meat alternatives to indulge without betraying health goals. 


Why is it counterintuitive for meat-eaters to consume fake meat? After all, many people like to try new foods. It isn’t strange for non-Japanese people to like sushi. 

Perhaps it’s because, until recently, mock meats haven’t tasted like their real counterparts. And because they were marketed as meat substitutes, people were disappointed. To buy them was seen as settling for less, although perhaps for a good reason.

The Impossible Whopper is different. Thanks to iron-containing heme, which makes meat taste meaty, it tastes like a real beef hamburger (whether it tastes like a Whopper, however, depends on whom you ask). 

Living Ethically Requires Self-Discipline… Until You Make It Convenient

Unfortunately, going vegetarian (especially vegan) takes strength and courage… for now. 

Food is so much more than nutrition — it’s a part of culture, a link to the past, and a powerful form of social bonding. As a result, renouncing meat, dairy, and/or eggs doesn’t just lead to withdrawal cravings; it can cause culture shock and loneliness. It’s no surprise, then, that only about 5% of Americans are vegans or vegetarians, which hasn’t changed much within the past three decades. 

With little success, (ideological) vegetarians have long tried to convert meat-eaters. Most people aren’t persuaded by rational debate on emotional subjects like food ethics. And even when faced with horrific farm conditions and anthropogenic climate change, they assuage their guilt with denial, compartmentalization, and other mind tricks. The more uncomfortable it is to be ethical, the more likely people are to prioritize comfort.

That’s why the key to speedier progress in animal liberation, conservation, and the fight against climate change isn’t veganism; it’s displacing unethical products and services with more appealing alternatives.

This isn’t to say that going vegetarian or vegan is futile — far from it. By going vegan for a month, you could save 30 animals, prevent 620 pounds of CO2 emissions, and spare 913 square feet of forest. But most people won’t join you, and they’ll keep thwarting your causes until they change their behaviors for different reasons.

“Our products are going to get tastier, healthier, more affordable and better in every way, continuously into the far future, and the incumbent meat industry is just standing there, waiting for the tsunami.” — Pat Brown, CEO and founder of Impossible Foods


It’s hard to believe that fake meat could ever replace the real kind on a mass scale, but similarly massive changes have happened before. Imagine if automobiles had been made to liberate horses. The intention wouldn’t have made a historical difference; in both that alternate universe and our real one, people wouldn’t have adopted cars out of compassion. Automobiles are simply better than horse-drawn buggies, and now they’re the default mode of travel.


While A Conscious Consumer Can Change Lives, A Conscious Business Can Shift Paradigms

Though I’ve focused this article so far on vegetarianism, the bigger point I want to make applies to conscious consumerism in general. Though individuals can do great good with their purchases, they can’t convince everyone else to shop with their criteria. And sometimes, this isn’t even due to personal weaknesses; equally passionate people can have competing ideologies. 

That’s why no matter what the movement, conscious businesses have a massive advantage over conscious consumers — they can sell things to people who don’t care for their causes. 

This approach to the conscious consumer movement can make everyone happy. Nobody likes to be told what to do, and nobody wants their cause to be stagnant. When ethical goods and services appeal to most people, society improves without a struggle.

It’s Time For The Conscious Business.

Specifically, Conscious E-Commerce ™.

Online retailers are seeing Black Friday-like sales due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. According to new data from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, U.S. e-commerce jumped 49% in April, compared to the baseline period in early March before shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect. Source- Techcrunch.com 5/12/20

There is a lot of uncertainty in the air. Uncertainty breeds opportunity.  I believe now is a great time for the conscious e-business

What is a conscious business?

Conscious leaders believe that business is about more than making a profit. Conscious entrepreneurs view business as good, ethical, noble and heroic.  There is a universal truth that people aspire to meaning & purpose. Conscious businesses care about all stakeholders in their ecosystem. Conscious leaders focus on “we” not “me”.  They put people first which results in high levels of engagement, motivation and commitment.  Conscious businesses intentionally foster cultures with high levels of authenticity, integrity and personal growth. 

Facts prove that a conscious company is a much more profitable company because associates enjoy working and are more productive.  Happy associates produce higher quality products & services, leading to happier customers and larger profits. So here are the facts:

  • Raj Sisodia, Co-Founder of Conscious Capitalism, looked at 28 companies he identified as the most conscious “firms of endearment”, as he termed them, based on characteristics such as their stated purpose, generosity of compensation, quality of customer service, investment in their communities, and impact on the environment.
  • 18 publicly traded companies out of the 28 outperformed the S&P 500 index by a factor of 10.5 over the years 1996-2011. 

source Harvard Business Review 

A conscious business ethos typically transcends into the company’s web presence.  You can feel the essence of trust, loyalty, fairness and genuine caring within the web pages and social media channels of a conscious business. During this most interesting shift we are all experiencing, this spirit will pay dividends.  Combine a conscious business with the recent online shopping boom along with an expanding conscious consumer movement and you have a recipe for business growth and more importantly – increased impact. 

The crisis will be the cure. Maintain focus on your purpose AND your customer’s problems. Stay present and positive.  You’ve got this.

Two Stories from Two Generations: Are You With Us?

‘At 49 years old, most would call it a typical mid-life crisis; however mine was existential.

I remember sitting at my desk in my comfy corporate office when a wave of panic came over me. I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. This was not the life I wanted.

 I knew I was supposed to be doing something else – something that had meaning – in a business that valued purpose over profit. But, What? Where? How? I didn’t know what it was or how I would get there. 

Swirling in my head were the lyrics from the Talking Heads song Letting the Days Go By: 

And you may ask yourself:
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may say to yourself:
“My God! What have I done?”

Not long after this moment of self-realization, my mother, a vibrant 80 year old, died. 

She had a massive stroke after having surgery that she hoped would finally free her from years of chronic pain. To this day, I believe her acute pain was not just aging – it was from living in our modern-day toxic environment: GMO’s, chemicals, plastic and acute stress. 

That event forced me to shine the light on how I was living my life. If I died tomorrow, what would be my legacy? Was I thriving or just surviving? I had always been a seeker and had, for several years at this time, been on a spiritual path; yet, I still felt “dense”- that low vibration weighing down my body and my spirit.  

I switched to a plant- based diet and turned to meditation and yoga to handle stress. I felt so much better, and I was eager to share what I was learning with others, so they, too, could thrive – not just survive. The problem was, few would listen. I realized what I was missing was community – conscious community.

One day, my soul sister who had been traveling the same mindful wellness path I was, introduced me to Mindful Market and the founder, Jim Kupczyk. I didn’t know anything about conscious commerce at the time.  All I knew was this was the community I longed for: a place to find products that aligned with my values and support socially responsible, heart-centered businesses and individuals. 

At that point Mindful Market was more a vision than an actual marketplace; but, Jim’s pure heart, positive energy and complete transparency made me a Believer. This was my place to serve. I was in

Little did I know that small leap of faith would bring me closer to the life I really wanted: to meet my soulmate, quit my 9-5 and move to the beach. 

At 55, I feel like my generation has been a large contributor to the social and environmental crises we are experiencing today. It’s not entirely our fault – we were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do – unaware of the consequences. Now, I’m looking at the faces of the next generation, asking: “How can we help?”

It’s never too late. Small conscious changes in our behaviors as consumers and business owners can still make a big impact on the world. 

We can all do better, be better. Will you join me?’

Paige Baggett Riggins, Founder of The Beach Speaks

“Have you ever felt like you were losing your sense of purpose in life, while the world around you only got louder and more chaotic?  Well that was me less than a year ago. As a millenial, I have grown up in a world of uncertainty, with messaging that only seems to provide reasons why we shouldn’t have hope. I felt forced to exist in a world that wasn’t heading in a positive direction and little understanding of how to change that. 

The day I met the founder of Mindful Market, I found that hope again.  Jim Kupczyk is a conscious entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who had a dream to empower our world through consciousness. When I say consciousness, I don’t mean that we are all going to sit in a circle, sing “Kumbaya” and have all the answers, but the idea surrounding this word is about empowering, educating, and creating community around what we value, who we are, and who we support. Right now, it feels like this matters more than ever. 

After years of searching, navigating, and fighting for a space to feel heard, seen, and valued as a young professional I met Jim and knew that his story, his path, and this idea for a conscious marketplace would change the world. We are here to touch lives in small and big ways, starting now.

This is the beginning of our story. We hope you will share it with the world.”

Kristen Gmerek, Conscious Marketing and Communications Director at Mindful Market

On February 22nd, 2020 Mindful Market will launch a Crowdfunding Campaign and we need your help to reach our goals. We are asking our generations to step up and take action in this movement any way they can.

It’s Not Bull S***: Why Conscious Business Matters

There are numerous stereotypes and assumptions surrounding the word “conscious”. Some of them have deterred a lot of us away from anything that has to do with the word itself because it feels… Well, sometimes like a load of bull s***. However, there is a new wave of the ideology of “consciousness” that is more pragmatic, more altruistic, and more approachable that I think we can all get behind.

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Let the Conscious Consumer Movement Begin

We need to overcome unconscious consumerism, which is chronic purchasing of new goods and services while not paying attention to your true needs, the quality, origin or the environment.

  • It’s time to awaken and pay more attention to the companies we support.  
  • It’s time to be mindful that every buying decision made has the power to change the world  
  • It’s time to realize that our choices matter because our purchases enable businesses to function and prosper. 
  • It’s time we are fully aware that when we support a brand that does not follow ethical or sustainable business practices, we are fueling the company to endure the negative effects.  
  • It’s time to look beyond the label.  
  • It’s time to shop your values.  
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What is Conscious Capitalism?

Pictured above- Conscious Capitalism Co-Founder, Raj Sisodia with Mindful Market Founder, Jim Kupczyk

The idea of Conscious Capitalism has been around for about 20 years.  The foundational book, published in 2013, that captures the core ideas and spirit is Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by John Mackey (cofounder of Whole Foods Market) and Raj Sisodia (thought leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior).

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