Emmy’s Organics produces healthy snacks here in Ithaca and distributes them across the country. A certified B-Corporation, Emmy’s goes beyond healthy foods to work toward a healthier world. It’s a great example of how a business founded on real passion and inspiration can have a profound impact on a community… the energy that creators Samantha and Ian bring to Emmy’s ripples out into our community through their efforts to run an environmentally and economically sustainable business and be a great example for others looking to start and sustain a small business in Ithaca.
A Q&A with Samantha Abrams, President & Co-founder.
What is Emmy’s Organics?
Emmy’s Organics is a gluten-free and vegan food manufacturing company. We have a line of macaroons, super cereals, and chocolate sauce that we make here in Ithaca and distribute across the country and in Canada.
Who is it good for?
We make products that appeal to everyone but can also satisfy the needs of people with various food sensitivities. As a mindset, Emmy’s is also good for everyone because we work hard to be good to all the communities we touch.
How did it start?
Emmy’s started in a home kitchen here in Ithaca with myself and my partner Ian (both life and business). We were really just making products for fun on the side and we realized how healthy and easy these products were to make and we wanted to share them with our community.
What impact does this have on our community?
In a very simple way, we do provide jobs and we do provide products for the community to enjoy. But in addition, we’ve done a lot of collaborations with local non-profits that we really love, and as we grow that’s just going to continue. Also, I really see Emmy’s as a source of inspiration for other people looking to start businesses. That’s one of the most fulfilling things for me… to have people see that we started a business here in Ithaca and ask, “I want to do that, what are the steps I need to take?”
How has our community supported Emmy’s?
I think that Ithaca has so many resources for a small business that’s starting out. There’s someone here that’s doing everything… you can literally find a connection to anything here. Also as we grow, we’re really benefiting from the wealth of talent here. We’ve been able to call on a number of really successful business people who have gone through this already. Then there’s the banks, and Greenstar… we’ve been affected by so many parts of the community and it’s been such a blessing.
What struggles have you encountered?
I think just growing pains, whether it’s cash flow issues or production issues… how to manage that. That’s really our biggest thing. What’s the best way to grow and create a long-term plan?
What should we be celebrating?
I think that we should be celebrating what a tight-knit community Ithaca is, how we all support local businesses, and that we’re all connected. That really is the strongest part of Ithaca… people really get buying and supporting local.
You can see the growth of our company is because we’re a local company. For example, people who are from here and live in NYC… they’re texting me pictures of our products, they’re telling the store buyers that they know us. There’s such a pride that’s associated with Ithaca culture that really impacts the bigger picture. That Ithaca pride can really span the whole world.
How can we participate?
Already, people who buy our products are participating in a huge way. We can’t be more grateful for that. Word of mouth is huge, so if you have a friend in California or the Midwest and you love our products and think that they would love them too, spread the word about who we are and what we do. That’s priceless!
Pick up some Emmy’s products at local retailers like Greenstar, or grab a pack with your coffee at Gimme!
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