NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - One of the brands that launched the "buy something, give something" movement a decade ago opened its first shop in Brooklyn Wednesday. FEED founder and CEO Lauren Bush Lauren hopes the store represents an outlet for doing good and says it is a new way for people to engage in her brand and its mission. She calls the FEED Shop and Cafe in DUMBO a dream come true.
Lauren created FEED in 2007 while still a student at Princeton University. After traveling with the United Nations World Food Programme she decided to use her love of fashion and design to help end world hunger. She started with just one burlap bag, the FEED 1 bag. For every FEED 1 bag sold, a child in school is fed for a year.
The new FEED store pays homage to those original bags, with a wall full of them. FEED also designed a Brooklyn tote, made in Brooklyn, which gives 10 meals to kids in Brooklyn.
Every purchase in the store, from the La Colombe coffee to the muffins and pastries from City Bakery, will give meals to kids in need. A meal counter shows in real time how many meals FEED has given. The number is approaching 96 million.
FEED now has an entire line of goods designed to do good: leather products (including a new spring bucket bag and clutch) and two canvas utility bags. It also has a striped FEED shirt and new FEED heritage blend coffee, roasted by La Colombe, which Lauren helped create. Every bag of coffee you buy gives 10 meals.
The FEED shop and cafe also sells curated products from other like-minded companies, called FEED Finds. Lauren says each of these FEED Finds has a hangtag with seven categories: sustainably made, gives back, artisan made, empowers women, one of a kind, inspires goodness, or locally made. Each product has to meet at least one of those categories.
The FEED store also hopes to get involved with the local community. Lauren says FEED will be organizing regular volunteer activities so people can meet at the store, get their morning coffee, and head out as a group to volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen.
Every item in the store is clearly marked, so you know how many meals your purchase provides. FEED is on track to donate its 100 millionth meal this fall. No doubt the new store will contribute in a big way.