Epicurean entrepreneurship runs in Jane Hunter's family. When she was growing up in Richmond, her family owned Wright Brokerage, "a middleman between the supermarket and the manufacturer," Hunter explains. (Her father, Buster Wright, sold the company a few years ago; he's now a merchandising executive at Ukrop's.) The family business inspired Hunter to build a business of her own, and in fall 2008, she launched Organica Deluxe, which she describes as an online eco-boutique.
The virtual shop stocks "green" luxury gifts, including organic chocolates, wines and snacks, as well as inedible items such as leather albums with hand-stitched recycled paper.
"We really believe that when people make choices about how to spend money, contributing to sustainability is important," Hunter says. Although she now lives in Charlotte, N.C., Hunter calls her world "very Richmond-connected." In the summer months before Organica Deluxe got off the ground, Hunter mailed sample gift boxes from her company to family and friends here, and they gave her feedback on the condition of the boxes when they arrived.
Even the company's packaging keeps the environment in mind. Organica Deluxe specializes in single-box delivery (no additional outer carton), which the company says helps reduce paper consumption by more than 50 percent, and the vegetable-based packing peanuts are biodegradable. "Everything we do trying to support our world," Hunter says.
For Valentine's Day, Hunter plans to offer a special "chocolate lover's package" through Organica Deluxe. For more information, call (800) 272-0546 or visit organicadeluxe.com .