We somehow came across this commencement speech given by Odessa Piper, former owner of L’Etoile Restaurant, which she delivered to the graduating class of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It probably isn’t Consumerist in nature — no customer service horror stories, no corporate megalomania, no craven disregard for the well-being of consumers. It’s just a charming and passionate story about how a young woman managed to stick to her principles and, after years of hard work, finally make her green and farmer friendly business into a profitable, highly regarded restaurant.
Not only that, but it’s genuinely uplifting. The anecdote about how an account receivable man bent over backwards to keep his company’s fish coming into her restaurant even when she was $70,000 in debt reminds us of what we sometimes tend to forget running a site like this: not everything is about profit and sometimes the least likely people will support an entrepreneur’s dreams to give something new and better to the consumer.