On Wednesday morning at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Our Time launched its new initiative, Buy Young, to promote young entrepreneurs and also have them offer discounts on their products and services to members of the organization.
Our Time (ourtime.org) is the brainchild of Matthew Segal who founded the Student Association for Voter Empowerment (SAVE) at Kenyon College in 2007 after many students had to wait in line 12 hours to vote. After the 2008 election, Segal vowed to build an organization out of SAVE that would be relevant year round and not only around elections. He realized young people often don’t have a say in policy as they don’t always vote in big numbers and they often don’t coalesce around any one issue.
Our Time could become the AARP of the under-30 crowd. Segal and his co-founder Jarrett Moreno see it as organizing their generation into one all-encompassing membership group because combined they are millions of voters with billions of dollars. They see fundamental similarities young people have, including the need for jobs, access to good education and training, affordable health care, financial and consumer protection and voting rights.
The launch of Buy Young included a morning roundtable at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a lunch co- hosted by House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Capitol Hill with keynoter Barry Diller, Chairman, IAC and other top business leaders along with 100 young entrepreneurs and CEOs. This was followed by an event at the White House. The public relations for the events was handled by Brad Luna, CEO of Luna Media Group, who said, “I really believe in and support what Matthew and Jarrett are doing even though I have fairly recently aged out of the group they are targeting.”
There were a wide range of companies represented from finance to food and one of the most interesting was Lindy and Grundy, local, pastured and organic meats (lindyandgrundy.com), an old-fashioned butcher shop opened by Amelia Posada (aka Lindy) and Erika Nakamura (aka Grundy) in Los Angeles in April. Not only are Amelia and Erika partners in business but they are also married. The kind of publicity and reviews they have received rivals Georgetown Cupcake and many would say this business has more meat to it.
I spoke with Posada and Nakamura, two 5-foot-tall dynamos, one in lipstick and pearls, who told me how Lindy and Grundy came into being. They met in New York City and developed their romantic relationship around the dining scene there.
Posada grew up in California where her mother was a chef. She moved to New York to go to journalism school and follow her passion as a community activist. She also worked as a floral designer for a number of top hotels in the city.
Ironically, she was a vegetarian for 14 years but developed a taste for bacon.
Nakamura was raised in Tokyo and hung around her mother’s kitchen and learned to be creative and bold in her culinary choices and explore her love of food from a young age. Her family moved to New York when she was 17. She went to Antioch College but returned to attend the French Culinary School. She worked as a chef in many fast-paced restaurants but said she found her true calling behind the meat and fish counter at her neighborhood gourmet grocery that specialized in local and sustainable products. It was soon after that the couple moved together from the city up the Hudson Valley to Kingston, N.Y., to begin an apprenticeship at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats. Nakamura said it took her only two weeks to know she had found her calling and that she was a natural butcher.
Lindy and Grundy came about after a visit to Posada’s parents in California. She realized that there were no sustainable butchers there and decided that one day she could bring the art of old world butchering techniques, with sustainable practices, to L.A. That along with her community activism and investigative journalism, which had opened her eyes to the many injustices in the American “industry” of factory farming, led to the business partnership and a special commitment to teach Americans how to eat.
They have big goals for the business. They have gone from one employee to six in three months and just purchased a refrigerated van to deliver in the Los Angeles area. They have done their first catering job and hope that will lead to a major expansion of the business. They dream of opening a slaughter house.
Our Time’s time has come. Young entrepreneurs will help America grow its economic base and provide needed jobs. The under-30 generation can be a force to be reckoned with if they get together and Our Time hopes to make that a reality.