Davenport grocery store Greatest Grains Monday evening received the first Business for the Greater Good Award from St. Ambrose University's College of Business.
St. Ambrose student Caroline Carbonara also was awarded for her personal and business-minded approach to her work and studies. The first-ever awards were granted based on community involvement, ethical leadership, economic impact, sustainability and employment practices.
In the past couple of years, Allison Ambrose, professor of accounting, said the College of Business has implemented an overarching theme of "Business for the Greater Good." She said Monday night's awards ceremony was the college's first celebration of businesses and students using business to positively serve their community.
"We want our College of Business to be known for something different and something good," Ambrose said. "In 10 years, we'd love our students to say we really focused on business as a force of good. If they think about business as a cause for good, they can speak up if they see workplace injustices or environmental malpractice."
Last year, the college formed a committee and developed criteria for businesses to win the award. The criteria is based on the "triple bottom line: people, planet and profit."
"We immediately thought of Greatest Grains because they are on the Hilltop and have added a component of vibrancy to that neighborhood," Ambrose said.
Greatest Grains, a longtime staple of Davenport's Hilltop Campus Village, was selected for its ethical approach to sales and refusal to carry products that aren't natural. According to the committee, the store also was chosen because it has helped to attract more businesses to the area; it offers bike racks and a community garden; plus, the owners hire mentally and legally challenged employees.
"We're certainly pleased the recognition is there," said Scott Tunnicliff, director of the Hilltop Campus Village. "It shows a real dedication to small and independent business and local ownership, which is what the college has always been about. It's what it was about when I got my MBA here in 1996. The college has been great for the community, great for the university and great for the students."
Also at the ceremony, several local business leaders — including Estes Construction President Kent Pilcher and Quad-City Storm President Gwen Tombergs — presented short "Ambrose Talks" on the topic of business for the greater good.
Ambrose said she hopes the awards will expand in future years.