Opportunity Knocks – Bona Fide Green Goods

Ryan, Mike, Amanda and Mandy have a message and a proposition. I guess you could call them prophets trying to make a profit. And people are buying in!

Their mission, which is to inspire change and awareness for a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, is accomplished through Bona Fide Green Goods on Main Street in Concord. Its story and the passion from which Bona Fide Green Goods sprung are indistinguishable:

A partnership born in Concord, NH, we took our common desire for sustainability and made the decision to help educate the people of our community and others in the importance of living an eco-lifestyle. Our brick and mortar store is just the beginning. Thank you in advance for all the support and any actions you are taking to make a difference.

I recently interviewed owner Ryan Hvizda about Bona Fide Green Goods. Here is our conversation:

Tell me more about yourself.

I also co-own and operate a forward thinking real estate business with my husband. We serve residential clients across the state with a specialty focus in sustainable and agricultural properties. We built our real estate business based on the three ethics of permaculture: people care, earth care and fair share. As a real estate professional I’m very involved in advocating for affordable and sustainable housing and developments. We are currently experiencing a housing crisis in NH that is particularly hard on first time home buyers and I’m passionate about helping be a part of solving this problem while also weaving sustainability into the design and build process.

What about your business brings you the most passion?

Our business is helping our community become a waste-free, healthier and more conscious place. The four of us are extremely passionate about finding and educating the community on products that reduce their consumption and production of waste. We are also constantly searching for and bringing into the store, the best non-toxic and pure products we can. We are also very excited to launch a bulk cleaning supply and body care product lines in early 2020.

Photo by Kate Trysh on Unsplash

What are your main sources of publicity? Word of mouth? Online advertising?

We use Instagram and Facebook primarily right now.

What challenges did you encounter when launching your business?

Our business has been in operation for 12 years, we recently took it over in June 2019. Challenges have been almost every day – we bought the store with limited inventory and limited historical data. So we have been restocking the store, figuring out how to build a retail business without using credit, getting ready for the holiday season, developing systems and inventory tracking, building out the website and more … all of these are challenges as we are new retail store owners so we have to figure out what the best system is and then launch it!

Are there any industry or demographic/social/political or New Hampshire based challenges to your business that you see arising over the long term? Any windfalls?

We are working to make our products more accessible to all demographics. A critique of our store is the affordability factor of our products, so we are constantly educating our community on the savings one will see when they invest in zero waste/reusable products vs. single use. For example, at first it seems very hard to digest buying 24 “unpaper towels” for $60 instead of 12 rolls of paper towels for $17. However, once you stop using paper towels and make the switch over to reusable ones, you will save $1,000 over five years by making the one time investment of $60.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

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