Food Nominees

Atherton Market (1st Place Winner)

When Atherton Market opened its doors in 2010 as a farmers market, they opened twice a week, hosted around 20 vendors, including farmers, prepared food vendors and artisans. 

In 5 short years, the market has grown to be open 5 days a week year-round, with more than 37 vendors on the annual roster. The addition of Not Just Coffee in May of 2013 made the market a weekday destination for a broad demographic of customers, and truly established the Atherton Market as a South End destination. A few short months later Chef Alyssa's Kitchen began offering cooking classes that incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Food Hub and Queen City Pantry aggregate farm goods, dairy products, and prepared foods from North Carolina farms and businesses to make the market a convenient, one stop shop for all of your fresh food needs. The Atherton Market continues to be the leader in Charlotte in featuring locally grown and produce and farm goods, as well as prepared foods, and hand-crafted items. 

Humane League, Charlotte (2nd Place Winner)

The Humane League is a nonprofit organization that focuses on issues of food sustainability and animal welfare. As an organization, they urge people to switch to a "green" diet and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. The Humane League fights to limit the amount of meat that is consumed, which decreases the environmental footprint that is created on this earth. The organization also fights for the humane treatment of animals, such as urging many large corporations to carry only cage-free eggs. The Humane league has been a working force in making change for animals and our environment. Achievements include pushing franchises like Denny's and Subway to convert to cage-free eggs. They have also won "Animal Charity Evaluators" top charity award for many years in a row. The Humane League's efforts in the community are also found in their push for a healthy lifestyle, which is evident in the information that they present to the public via email, pamphlets, and magazines.

The Humane League uses the changing cultural norms and a push for sustainable lifestyles to urge people from all over to eat healthier and cut meat out of their diet. They do so in a safe environment that allows for people to learn more about their impact in the farming world and land use.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council (3rd Place Winner)

The CMFPC plays a critical role in connecting the community, businesses, food entrepreneurs, government and policy makers to make Charlotte a better place to live. This organization embodies a grassroots initiative by playing a critical role as connector for a topic as important and complex as food. Their focus areas are to advocate for local food advocacy and local food policy. Activities involve schools, churches, social justice groups, local farmers and food producers and entrepreneurs.

In 2015, the group will embark on an effort to collect data to analyze and assess Charlotte's food system. They are doing this through business and academic collaboration; gathering qualitative and quantitative feedback of citizens directly impacted by gaps in the food chain. Additionally, this group is spearheading numerous community events to bring awareness around food. Examples include food entrepreneurship and micro-crowd funding to give citizens a voice in shaping Charlotte's food scene.

Healthy Home Market

HHM offers a wide variety of locally crafted products, lessening the impact on the environment while maximizing the benefit to area artisans. They stock local collards, sauces & rubs, coffees, gelato, breads, fresh deli items, in season produce, dairy products, quality meats, even soaps and candles. Every department has something to offer. They also participate in the Bicycle Benefits reward program and offer $1 off any juice or smoothie at The Main Squeeze Juice Bar at their Plaza Midwood location when you present your membership sticker. The juice bar scraps, coincidentally, are picked up by local favorite Queen City Compost.

Being locally grown and locally owned means something at Healthy Home Market. They were doing it before it was trendy, they've always done it this way because it was the right thing to do and yielded quality results for their customers and their families.

Heirloom Restaurant

Heirloom Restaurant is truly a restaurant of the community. We source all of our ingredients from NC farms, producers, and small businesses. Even when this may not be the most cost effective way to purchase our products we choose to stand with our community above all else. We even chose to locate our restaurant in a food desert to better provide food to our community. We also work within the community to change the culture of school food and provide better quality food to our city's and state's homeless population

Heirloom Restaurant is a restaurant unlike any other. From our sourcing, location, community work, and overall mission, every endeavor we undertake has sustainability as its focus. To put it briefly, there is no other restaurant that even compares to Heirloom in terms of sustainability.

TC Lifestyle Fitness, LLC

TC Lifestyle Fitness promotes healthy and sustainable living through nutritious eating. In accordance with the vision of the company, TC Lifestyle Fitness "empowers" and "educates" by providing educational workshops that teach individuals how and what to eat. In addition to this, TC Lifestyle Fitness has impacted the community by providing an environment that supports healthy behaviors and personal sustainability. This ultimately leads to a more prosperous and sustainable city.

TC Lifestyle Fitness has proven itself to be an innovative company by facilitating a holistic approach to personal sustainability. Not only do they directly impact individual health, but they create a positive ripple effect throughout the community by addressing barriers to healthier living.


Buy Coffee. Feed the World. This is not a catch phrase for Javesca. It is their vision. For every pound of coffee sold, Javesca provides a minimum of one pound of food to help people throughout the world who have little to no food. Established in 2013 by Craig Bollinger, a Charlotte pastor, and son Steven, their passion is to grow a national brand of coffee that links every coffee drinker as a partner to end hunger. Javesca uses an environmentally-friendly, water-based process for decaffeination that avoids the use of potentially harmful chemicals. The company’s commitment to support sustainable feeding programs has trumped the goal for profitability. Over 20,000 pounds of food exceeding 100,000 meals have been provided in impoverished areas of Burundi, Africa and Guatemala. Javesca practices its values of quality, respect, compassion and fairness with coffee farmers, regional roasters, and local restaurants and corporations. Being involved with Javesca is to make a difference!

Javesca coffee is donating a majority of its profits from each bag of premium coffee sold to reputable organizations to buy food from local farmers, feed hungry children, and create sustainable economies. Do something extraordinary by doing something ordinary … buy coffee from Javesca.

Sun Raised Farms

Sun Raised Farms is a collection of farmers across North Carolina who use sheep to manage the vast grazing areas under and around solar installations. Instead of wasting money on fossil fuels, chemicals, and mowing machines Sun Raised Farms invests in local farmers and their sheep to do the ground maintenance and look after the land. The local farmers raise healthy hormone and pesticide free sheep on the grounds of the solar farms. The sheep graze and keep the grass down during the growing season so the grass and weeds don't shade the solar panels.

Piedmont Culinary Guild

PCG is an non profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of local ingredients in restaurants and General food service. Their mantras include "connecting the food chain" and "all ships rise together ". They provide connections with farmer and chefs encouraging the use of local, all natural products. They are a new organization with big aspirations. With plans for aggressive growth, the guild will soon offer, scholarship programs for aspiring students, sponsorships for farmers, and more community educational programs to promote healthy, natural food. 

The Produce Box

The Produce Box works with over 40 farmers in our state and more than 60 specialty food providers (cheese, bread, honey, jam, etc.) to deliver fresh produce and NC made foods to the doorsteps of its members. They pay their farmers a fair price and have farm grants to help them. They provide food to families in need EVERY WEEK with their community boxes. And they help us all remember to BUY LOCAL and reduce our carbon footprint!

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