Co-founder of Free People's Store is next BASE speaker

Judy Wicks  - Photo courtesy of Judy Wicks
Judy Wicks
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks — the founder of White Dog Café and the co-founder of the original Free People's Store, now known as Urban Outfitters — is the guest lecturer for the next edition of the Building A Sustainable Economy (BASE) lecture series.

The series continues at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at the Bainbridge Public Library.

Wicks will discuss how communities far and wide create local living economies that value people and place as much as commerce and will provide examples of some of the innovative businesses involved.

The program is free, but preregistration is requested at or by calling 206-842-4439.

Wicks is also co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), an alliance of nearly 80 fully autonomous local business networks in North America that share a commitment to “Living Economy” principles. Its goal is to build communities that are more healthy and sustainable – backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient.

BALLE advocates the use of regional resources to meet community needs – reconnecting eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend.

Wicks is an international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement. She is the founder and former owner of the White Dog Café, acclaimed for its socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

Wicks is also founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food — both incubated at the White Dog Café Foundation and supported by the restaurant's profits.

In her retail career, she was founder and owner of Black Cat, which featured locally made and fair-trade gifts for 20 years. In 1970, she co-founded the original Free People's Store, now well-known as Urban Outfitters.

Her work has earned numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, the International Association of Culinary Professionals Humanitarian Award and the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Philadelphia and is continuing her work to build a new economy. As part of this, Wicks mentors the next generation of entrepreneurs and consults for beautiful business.

The BASE lecture series is co-sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Sustainable Bainbridge, and the Bainbridge Public Library with funding support from the Bainbridge Community Foundation.

Sustainable Bainbridge is a nonprofit organization that supports collaboration among local organizations, agencies, and individuals to create a more sustainable community.

For more information, visit the Sustainable Bainbridge website at or phone 206-842-4439.


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