Semi-finalist Q&A: Solar Cooker at Cantinawest

Solar Cooker at Cantinawest teaches and promotes Solar Cooking as an inexpensive and viable alternative energy use. Information from their grant application is available here. Read below for more, and if you have questions for our semi-finalists don't hesitate to ask them in the comments section.

Also, don't forget to cast your vote! YOUR vote will determine which entrepreneurs most deserve to be amongst the finalists.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I had discovered Solar Cooking a few years ago and become so enamored with the ease of cooking with the energy of the sun and the quality of the results that I almost immediately could see the potential this method of using alternative energy could have even on the most basic level, such as the personal or family level.

I had seen examples of many organizations using solar cooking for the benefit of the poor and destitute around the world that I felt the desire to also contribute, but I felt that it would be most beneficial to those who really needed this method of sustenance, by first educating and "converting" people here in the US and our more prosperous countries first, wherein they would be more willing and able to spread the cause of solar cooking to the more needy areas of the world.

It is something that is beneficial to all people of the world, not just in third world countries.

What makes your business unique? Why do you think it will be a success?

Our business is unique because it can have an almost immediate impact, whether small or large , on the environment, personal financial situations, individual health, and in some situations can be the difference between life and death for those in a desperate situation.

Our solar cooking business has the ability to help facilitate a change within the mindset of most people with regards to social, civic, personal, environmental, and economic responsibility that few other alternative energy methods have, due to the ease of use and low initial cost to implement.

We are unique also in the fact that we maintain a continuous direct working relationship and contact with all of our students, participants, customers and clients as well as all of our service and product providers.

We make service, and a great experience, our highest priority.

People visit, call, participate and purchase because of the high quality of our information, products and services

We have seen much in the way of successful results because of our personalized customer service. We strive to be more than just a mere retail or educational site.

What are some of your top business-related accomplishments, or business lessons learned?

One of the most satisfying accomplishments is having been able to take the art of solar cooking from a practically unknown practice/alternative to a very large audience within a few short months.

Case in point: Within my own area of Southern Utah, in the area surrounding St. George, and in the northern half of the state as well, we have been able to demonstrate and teach classes to hundreds of new participants as well as to connect with many thousands more through our website, offering almost unlimited solar cooking information as well as dozens of demonstrations, classes and workshops.

Our website has also gone from virtually unknown, to now ranking in the top 5% of internet search rankings for solar cooking, which has brought us abundant opportunities to be of assistance and guidance to people from all over the world who are showing interest in learning how they too can implement solar cooking programs and tools in their own regions and villages.

One thing I have learned in business, and especially so with this particular case, that the old adage: “when one door is closed, another door opens to new opportunity”

A business was developed that could do well in this current economic and social climate, by looking for a unique need that has its roots in the human desire for self sufficiency.

Why should the Idea Cafe regulars vote for you?

After looking at the businesses of all those who are competing for this grant, I will have to say that each and every one of these great businesses and their owners have garnered my admiration and praise, for they are all very exceptional and worthy of attention and recognition as well as the ultimate prize.

All I can say is that; if we were to win this current grant, Solar Cooker at Cantinawest could help spread a lot more Sunshine to those who could most use it at this time.


Good Luck on your

Good Luck on your adventure/venture! Spread the word about Solar Cooking and have an impact on the environment!

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