Champion: Twisted Basil

In 2010, Twisted Basil was one of six community groups to receive funding from SPUR (Sustainability Partners Uniting Resources) – funding that helped Twisted Basil realize their sustainability goals.  And in September 2010, the business signed on as a Champion of Sustainability.

At Twisted Basil, the focus is on ensuring as many people as possible have access to wholesome, organic or natural foods and products.  From organic breads to natural cleaners, and ready-to-serve homemade meals to free range chicken and eggs, Twisted Basil offers a wide range of products.

Leslie Swan, Managing Director of Operations for Twisted Basil, recently provided an overview of how her company is contributing to a sustainable future for Cochrane.

Q:  Why did Twisted Basil become involved with the Cochrane Sustainability Plan (CSP)?

A:  It fit perfectly with the expanded local view we were starting to take with our company.

Q:  Why is sustainability important to Twisted Basil?

A:  Being an independently owned food company, we cannot compete with the large food corporations. Sustainability means longevity.

Q:    What are the main steps Twisted Basil takes to be sustainable?

A:  We look at the percentage of how much of our business is locally driven. Those areas become our priority focus. This permeates all areas of fiscal responsibility including staffing, purchasing and daily operations.

Q:    Why should other Cochrane residents get involved with the CSP?

A:  We will always be more successful when we work collaboratively rather than as individuals.

Q:  What are the benefits of being a CSP Champion?

A:  Resources, networking, most importantly, generating momentum.

Q:  How has being sustainable helped your company?

A:  A clearer vision of who we are and what we are not has become apparent. We want to pioneer local living efforts that will support our farmers and producers immediately. By helping them, our company has grown into a leader in our local food economy.

Q:  Why are food issues important to Cochrane residents?

A:  We take for granted where our food comes from. Most of us don’t know and assume it will always be there. Twisted Basil is interested in helping consumers understand why we should know who grows our food and what it takes to get it on our plate. A true local food economy shouldn’t be vulnerable to a trucking strike.

Q:  What is the farm-to-plate initiative at Twisted Basil?

Area farmer Charlie Buckler is one of the many local producers working with Twisted Basil. He was featured in a recent promotional campaign for the company.

A:  We know the name of the farmer who owns and produces the food we eat. In addition, we are planting, weeding and harvesting side-by-side. The impact this has on us is immeasurable.

Q:    How will Twisted Basil use the sustainability funding from SPUR?

A:  This funding will help offset some of the start-up project costs associated with changing out our foreign suppliers to nearby Cochrane farmers (while keeping food prices competitive) and to partially fund Cochrane youth we hired to dig, weed and harvest our local bounty from our local farms.

Q:  What advice do you have for other businesses and organizations that are trying to be more sustainable?

A:  Think local first. Address your areas of vulnerability that could put you at risk if you have never considered the economic advantage of a stronger local foundation.

Interested in learning more about what our Champions can do?  Click here for more information – or to sign on as a Champion.