Business news in brief from our issue of Aug. 22

PLANTING TIME: Ecosia.org's U.S. representative, Jacey Bingler, center, recently visited the company's tree planting initiative in Indonesia. Bingler selected Asheville as her business base in the United States in part because the city's culture aligns with the online search engine's corporate commitment to environmental stewardship. Photo by Julian Karl

Online search firm comes to Asheville

Ecosia.org, a search engine that uses all of its profits to plant trees, has selected Asheville as the home base for its United States representative. Jacey Bingler recently relocated to Asheville from Berlin, where the company is headquartered, to serve as the search provider’s country manager for the U.S.

According to Bingler, the company has financed the planting of nearly 35 million trees in “biodiversity hotspots worldwide.”

“We chose Asheville for its focus on sustainability, the proximity to some of the most beautiful and important forests in the country and the community’s love for outdoor activities,” Bingler says. Plus, the city’s growing status as a center of the emerging climate industry also fit with Ecosia.org’s corporate culture and commitments. “Despite the fact that it’s not a very large city, there’s more going on in terms of social business, community engagement, outdoor activities, meetups and local brands and organizations supporting environmental or social causes than I have experienced in bigger cities in the U.S.,” she says.

Ecosia.org became Germany’s first B-corp in 2014, and the company is legally bound to use its profits to restore the planet. “This is not reversible and means that our founder and CEO will never be able to take profits out of the company for anything else other than environmental restoration,” Bingler says. “From a business perspective, this is probably a bad idea; from an environmental point of view, this makes absolute sense for us.”

WNC business happenings

Skyterra Wellness, a small health retreat in Lake Toxaway, announced it was voted Best Health & Wellness Resort in the country by readers at the USA TODAY 10Best website. The 20 nominees for Best Health & Wellness Resort were selected by a small panel of travel and wellness experts.

END OF AN ERA: Shelley's Jewelry, which has operated on Hendersonville's Main Street since 1973, announced it will close. Photo courtesy of Shelley's Jewelry
END OF AN ERA: Shelley’s Jewelry, which has operated on Hendersonville’s Main Street since 1973, announced it will close. Photo courtesy of Shelley’s Jewelry

Shelley’s Jewelry, which has operated on Hendersonville’s Main Street since 1973, announced that the family-owned business will close, though Stan Shelley says he and his wife will continue to run Shelley and Son Books at 429 N. Main St., which does the majority of its business online.

Morgan’s Comics, located at 600 Haywood Road in West Asheville, is the first woman-owned comic book store in Western North Carolina, according to proprietor Morgan Albritton. Albritton took over the business on July 12, and she plans to host a grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Jenna Stoll, Joshua Gonyeau, Matthew Neuenschwander, Meagan Witzleben and Vanda Dy have joined EXIT Realty Vistas.

Asheville’s Aeroflow Healthcare acquired Med-Caire Inc.’s CPAP resupply program, which provides durable medical equipment throughout Connecticut. Aeroflow Healthcare also distributes CPAP supplies in North and South Carolina.

Park Ridge Health announced that its parent company, Adventist Health System, will change its name to AdventHealth. The name of Park Ridge Health will become AdventHealth Hendersonville on Jan. 2.

Deborah Robertson, Asheville’s handmade bespoke shoemaker, won Honorable Mention at Footwear Symposium 2018 in Savannah, Ga. The gathering included shoemakers and boot makers from all over the U.S., as well as shoemakers from Australia and Ecuador.

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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