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3 Bay Area Businesses Displaying the Innovation of the Bay Area

California is a cradle of business in the United States. It is the state with the highest annual GDP, reaching nearly $3 trillion of annual revenue. In fact, if the Golden State were its own independent country, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy. These numbers illustrate why it is not surprising that California is home to some of the United State’s largest companies (like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Intel, Gap, and much more). While innovative businesses exist all around the state, one place has become known for world-class, industry leading businesses: San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.

Innovation, Sustainability, and Quality in the Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area
Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash

Ever since Hewlett-Packard set up shop in Palo Alto in 1939, the Bay Area has been a hot spot of technology and industry. Computer giants like Intel, Apple, AMD and many more made the lower Bay Area – dubbed Silicon Valley USA by journalist Don Hoefler – the premier technology capital of the world.

There are unique elements which have made San Francisco a perfect city for innovative businesses; “70% of San Franciscans over 18 have received training beyond high school, and nearly 50% speak a language other than English.” This environment has become a fertile breeding ground for forward thinking and game changing industry, creating a place where businesses are expected to reach far beyond the expected.

This is seen in the local businesses around San Francisco, which find new ways to make business sustainable while keeping product quality and company culture at all time highs. Being a business of the Bay Area ourselves, we at Impactree wanted to highlight the spirit of innovation we feel all around this part of California.

While many of the country’s biggest companies call this area home, we didn’t want this list to focus on multinational businesses with millions in advertising and revenue. Instead, we wanted to shed some local knowledge by highlighting some of our favorite smaller businesses around the area. We have worked closely with the following three businesses in creating outreach and engagement programs, and we feel they embody the meaning of social responsibility, while reflecting the innovative, sustainable nature of Bay Area businesses.

Sextant Coffee

Started in 2012, Sextant Coffee is a perfect representative of the third-wave coffee movement, as well as the ethics of San Franciscan businesses. Founded by first generation Ethiopian Kinani Ahmed, Sextant is built around a love for coffee, its culture, and ensuring the highest quality cup of coffee around. However, along with a strong attention to quality, Sextant views their business as a means of enacting positive change around the Bay Area and beyond.

Sextant Coffee founder Kinani Ahmed

Looking to sidestep large, unsustainable, industrialized coffee bean farms, Sextant works exclusively with small farms around Africa and South America. By doing so they not only guarantee a higher quality of product, but also lessen their environmental impact while financially supporting individual farmers and their communities. This ensures a carbon neutral process, which keeps multi-generational individual farms healthy and

 profitable. However, that passion for supporting communities remains strong stateside as well. With racial and social injustice very alive in America – in particular amplified by the Coronavirus pandemic – Sextant Coffee was looking for ways to engage their employees and customers on the numerous issues facing our nation’s people. To accomplish this goal, Sextant has partnered with Impactree to launch a customized Action Hub based around forging racial equality in America.

However, not wanting to separate their business from their social responsibility, Sextant Coffee has launched a promotional campaign to champion action among their constituents. Using the Impactree platform, Sextant is rewarding all who take action on their Action Hub with promotional codes to get 40% off all Sextant coffee subscriptions. Click the button below to learn more.

Dr Hops

Over the past decade, there has been an explosion in the popularity and profitability of kombucha products. Alcoholic kombucha has become one of the most popular uses of the fermented tea, finding great popularity among fans of microbreweries and artisanal alcohols. Among the many new businesses in this industry, Dr Hops has emerged as one of the leading breweries in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2015, the mission of Dr Hops can best be explained through a question posed at a party between its two founders; “Can we brew profoundly health-conscious alcohol with transcendent taste?” This question expresses the ethos of Dr Hops, championing quality of ingredients while maintaining the best possible taste. Since its beginning, Dr Hops has been a champion of issues important to them, advocating for racial and gender equality in and out of the

Dr Hops
Dr Hops founders Joshua Rood (left) and Tommy Weaver (right)

workplace, along with stressing the importance of promptly addressing climate change. The culture of business in San Francisco promotes high standards of products and services which doesn’t stop at the point of sale. The excellence found in the Bay Area is about creating business which can do good, while providing consumers with everything they want. Dr Hops perfectly fits this mold, creating alcoholic kombucha which is both sustainable and delicious. Click below to discover how they are using business as a mode for social reform.

Alter Eco

Alter Eco began in 1998 in France, founded as an alternative trading company. The company was started on a belief in the power of fair trade and responsible food products. This concept was enhanced as Alter Eco expanded into the United States in 2005, focusing the San Francisco based North American arm around chocolate.

Alter Eco
Alter Eco North America founders Mathieu Senard (left) and Edouard Rollet (right)

From the beginning of business, Alter Eco’s North American branch has highlighted the importance of sustainability, working tirelessly to support small farmers yielding environmentally conscious harvests. This ethos influences every aspect of their production, from the ingredients all the way to the packaging, believing that business can be a powerful force for good in the world.

Although Alter Eco is by no means a small operation, with their products being sold all around the world, however their spirit and work reflect

San Francisco businesses’ ability to work toward a higher level of sustainability and social responsibility. With many of the largest players in the chocolate industry using inhuman and unsustainable working practices, Alter Eco’s approach displays a desire to make businesses do good in the world: by championing smaller, humane farming practices which help grow communities around the world.

Supporting Local Communities With Impactree

While these three companies vary in their reach, they all see the immense importance of rooting a business in the community around it. By doing this. they help build strong communal bonds, create more sustainable options for their customers, and build trust within their workforce. However, to expand this reach to issues outside of their direct purvey of influence, all three of these businesses desired to use their brand identity, customers and employees to encourage deeper change in the world.

Each of these companies has found a custom solution with Impactree. No matter the size of company or CSR goals, Impactree offers personalized ways for businesses to reach out to their constituents, creating unique ways for every customer and/or employee to enact good in their own way. Whether it’s social media engagement, team building, or countless other means of expressing corporate social responsibility, Impactree has customizable solutions with real time reporting, making the process of guiding CSR and outreach programs simpler and more powerful than ever before. Click below to find out how Impactree can create custom solutions for your brand and goals.

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