Listen to “Growing “Produce with a Purpose” on Staten Island, we speak to Good Samaritan and Founder of Smile Farms, Jim McCann” on Spreaker.
Can I interest you in a story that’s sure to be “hot stuff” on Staten Island – a new, very special local farm where 22 Staten Islanders with developmental disabilities will grow peppers for hot sauce, and other produce …and all with a purpose.
Smile Farms at CP Unlimited will host its ribbon cutting ceremony, opening the 9th Smile Farms campus in the New York City metro region.
Smile Farms is a not-for-profit that develops partnerships with other NFPs to create jobs for people with developmental disabilities. Smile Farms at CP Unlimited will create 22 such opportunities for Staten Islanders, teaching them to grow produce (hot and sweet peppers to be used to make hot sauce!, among other things), providing them with marketable skills, independence, and mental wellness benefits. They will also support “Good Neighbor Organics” grown nearby and distribute it in local SI neighborhoods identified as “food deserts.” Smile Farms was founded by Long Islander and 1-800-FLOWERS.com Founder/Executive Chairman Jim McCann, inspired by his brother who has developmental disabilities.
Fun Facts: Since its founding in 2015, Smile Farms has:
– employed more than 200+ people with different abilities in the NY metro area
– harvested 629+ lbs. of peppers (and counting!) that have been made into 1,773 bottles of “BurnAbility” hot sauce ??????
– delivered produce to nearly 600 food insecure customers
– farmed produce for 55 group homes, feeding 400 residents
– wholesaled 62,000 planted pots of annuals and perennials
– provided produce for celeb Chef Tom Colicchio’s newest restaurant, Small Batch, and much more.
This is SUCH a feel-good story. If you’d like to interview James Cuomo, (a Smile Farmer at CP Unlimited), Jim McCann (Founder/Chairman Smile Farms, Founder/Exec Chairman of 1-800-Flowers) or Susan Constantino, (President and CEO of CP Unlimited), I’d be glad to arrange it for you. I’ve attached a media advisory for you and a flyer about Smile Farms.
Jim McCann – Bio
As a child, McCann grew up in Ozone Park, Queens, and is the oldest of five siblings in an Irish-American family; McCann is a third-generation American. For college, McCann attended the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, and graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
McCann first entered the flower business in the 1970s, when he purchased flower shops in New York City. He had previously worked as a social worker and as a part-time bartender in the Queens and Manhattan, respectively.
According to his autobiography, “Stop and Sell the Roses”, he came up with the idea of building a nationwide flower service while “listening to the radio as he was shaving”. In 1986, he bought a nearly bankrupt company in Texas which owned the phone number 1-800-Flowers. McCann changed the name of his chain accordingly.
In 1992 and 1994, McCann established deals with online pioneers CompuServe and AOL, making his company one of the first retailers to establish an online presence. In 1995, McCann established the website www.1800flowers.com, becoming one of the first retailers to establish a web presence. The company went public when it filed its IPO in 1999 under stock ticker FLWS.
As of 2016, McCann stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of 1-800-Flowers in favor of his brother Christopher G. McCann. McCann owns 40% of the company.
McCann serves as a director for Winthrop-University Hospital, a trustee for Hofstra University, a trustee for the Cancer Research Institute, Inc. and Children’s Progress Inc. He is often sought after to speak on topics of entrepreneurship, marketing and the Internet. He also serves on various corporate boards.
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find out what Jim McCann thinks about Peace, go to https://goodnewsplanet.com/what-does-peace-mean-to-jim-mccann/