Eco-preneurs 2015

These out entrepreneurs embrace a greener business model.

Jennifer Johnson & Serafina Palandech
Co-Owners, Hip Chick Farms

Serafina Palandech and Jennifer Johnson are the hip chicks behind Hip Chick Farms, a company that produces all-natural, free-range, organic chicken meals sold at Whole Foods, Safeway and grocery stores across the country. The idea came about as a result of Johnson′s other job, working for a family in San Francisco as a private chef. (She has also cooked at Chez Panisse, the famed California restaurant founded by Alice Waters.) “Jen′s passion for food was combined with our belief in creating sustainable food systems,“ says Palandech. “The field chose us—natural foods are our way of life.“ The couple, who will be in Food & Wine this month, credit many mentors for their success, including folks at Amy′s Kitchen, Cowgirl Creamery and Three Twins Ice Cream. (“Everyone has been so generous with their time,“ notes Palandech.) But Palandech and Johnson are generous, too, giving back some of the money from their sales to non-profits and participating in their community whenever possible. And while they admit being a lesbian-owned business has exposed them to some discrimination, they don′t let it get in their way: “No matter what happens, we believe in our vision and our family and know that we will succeed.“ Their advice to others? “Always say yes, but never take no for an answer!“