By Donita Naylor
The Providence Journal, R.I.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A collaboration between Alex and Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian and Edesia founder Navyn Salem is helping to distribute a peanut-based emergency food to crisis areas around the world.
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.
A billionaire Rhode Island entrepreneur and her management team visited a nonprofit Rhode Island entrepreneur and some of her refugee workers Wednesday to celebrate a robot named Lucy.
All the robots at the high-tech Edesia Nutrition factory in Quonset Business Park have names. But Wednesday belonged to Lucy, a $700,000 machine that came to the company by way of all the people who bought the sentiment “to the MOON and back” on the Alex and Ani bangle depicting a moon and stars against a blue background.
As a Charity by Design bangle, Stellar Love earns $5 per bracelet for Edesia. The concept was a collaboration by the two entrepreneurs, Alex and Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian and Edesia founder Navyn Salem, and their teams.
Salem thanked Rafaelian for letting her pick the best way to spend the charity bangle money.
Lucy has been at work since September, adding a third more productivity to the factory, which makes a peanut-based emergency food that is sent to crisis areas around the world.
At the factory, peanuts grown in Georgia and Texas and roasted in North Carolina are ground into paste, mixed with milk powder, vegetable oil, 41 vitamins and minerals and sugar to mask the taste of the supplements, and packaged into “sachets.” Three sachets a day for seven weeks is enough to bring a child from skin and bones to bright-eyed and smiling.
As employees and managers from the two companies mingled and nibbled on cheese and crackers, they could see through to the factory floor, where boxes full of Plumpy’Nut, each box promising life for one child, moved along conveyors.