Green Monkey

Finding the right childcare is challenging. Not only is it expensive but in a place like Austin, as in most large cities, wait lists are long. Parents hold spots at the best day cares before they even have children to fill them. We understood that we’d have to make some comprises when choosing a day care. We feel extraordinarily lucky to have found Green Monkey. Not a single compromise was necessary.

Green Monkey is an in-home day care that incorporates respectful principles and practices play-based learning. The ratio of children to adults is small. It is chemical free. Meals are plant-based, no processed foods. The owners, Ruby and Adrian, cook fresh pasta and bread for the kids, introducing them to new flavors and cultures at lunchtime. The kiddos often “help” with cooking. They have a lovely garden where the children experience growing their own food. It is near a park where the kids can run in open fields or ride their balance bikes or fly kites. The owners are bilingual, singing Spanish and English songs with the class. Because it is a small group of children, we are building a community with the other families. Weekends are full of birthday parties or other opportunities to connect.

Why it matters: It takes a village.

The owners of Green Monkey aren’t just setting new standards for child care, they are offering to teach others to do the same. Their vision for care extends beyond their own home and into the homes of others. Ruby and Adrian offer consultation services that range from helping an existing childcare facility become more green to establishing brand new home day cares that follow their model of healthy, wholesome childcare. It matters because it’s not all about expanding their own business to take in more kids. It’s about creating a bigger greener village that will enrich the lives of more children. It’s about a rising tide lifting all boats. Green Monkey is sharing their very special gift with as many as they can, and in doing so transforming childcare in a genuine, positive and enduring way.

Thai Fresh

Thai Fresh is our favorite spot for Thai food in Austin. A plate full of Pad Thai or a steaming bowl of Tom Kha soup at Thai Fresh makes for a pretty perfect meal. I like to finish it off with my favorite coconut-based Thai tea ice cream, a delightful dessert option.

With a bar offering locally roasted coffee and local taps, Thai Fresh is a great spot to work or play. Start the morning with a strong Thai coffee and then finish the afternoon with an IPA. Now that’s a good day’s work!

Thai Fresh sources from local farms as much as possible. It shows in the freshness of the food. Partnering with local farms is a standard of any sustainably-conscious restaurant. Thai Fresh pulls this off brilliantly with mindful recipes developed to include flavors that can be found right here in Texas rather than imported from far off places.

Why it matters: Living Wages.

Recently Thai Fresh joined a growing movement of restaurateurs that have done away with tipping and adjusted menu pricing to cover the cost of paying employees better wages. Full-time workers that make below $11.83 per hour live in poverty, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. In a place like Austin Texas, where the cost of living is higher, it is exceptionally hard for service industry employees to survive much less thrive. Thai Fresh made the decision to pay a fair wage — to care about their service team. I don’t mind paying more for Pad Thai or Tom Kha when I know that the men and women working hard to make it are earning more than $2.15 per hour. Local sourcing, woman-owned and minority-owned are great reasons to give Thai Fresh your business. Bucking the system and pledging to treat staff better — That is why Thai Fresh matters. It is why they deserve your time and your money. Your taste buds and your conscience will thank you!

What is a powerful purchase?

A powerful purchase is more than an exchange of goods and services. It is a reflection of values. It is an investment in community. It is an opportunity to make a difference.

The word purchase doesn’t just mean the act of buying. Purchase also means a hold or position on something for applying power advantageously. Purchase means foothold. It means anchor. It means support. We look for purchase in things that are sturdy, foundational and reliable.

We look for purchase in places that will hold us up.

Finding purchase in this mixed up world is difficult. It can be intimidating. Finding purchase for our time and money is overwhelming. In the vast ocean of commerce, it can be hard to stay anchored.

This is a collection of places where you’ll find purchase.

Organizations and businesses that are powerful in stabilizing ways. That consciously consider their employees. That actively work toward sustainability. That cultivate their communities.

In a world full of information, finding what you need can be surprisingly hard. Here you’ll find opportunities that will empower both your dollar and your spirit. Ways to improve your interaction with the standard structure of buying and selling goods.

Here you’ll find what matters.