Biz Beat 8-29-2013

RIDE (Rides for Intoxicated Drivers of Eugene) is a nonprofit hoping to begin local service this winter. “It is our mission to keep our community’s children safe by reducing drunk driving on our streets,” says CEO Jonathan Russell. RIDE will provide sober drivers to chauffeur intoxicated patrons home in their own vehicles. Chase drivers will follow behind and pick up the RIDE driver once the patron has arrived safely home. Russell says RIDE is “still in the funding stages” using Indiegogo. Perks are available for those who donate at various levels. See or call 870-6941.

Juventud FACETA is a local nonprofit that offers Latino/a youth a safe place where they can discover their talents and abilities, practice cultural traditions and build leadership skills. The group is celebrating its 13 years in Lane County with a homemade tamale sale from 5 to 8 pm Thursday, Aug. 29, at the old Whiteaker School, 21 N. Grand St. Tamales are $2.50 each and 300 will be available. See 

GarageSkins is a new business in Lane County, founded by Rick Medlen of Creswell. The business produces and markets light-weight, magnetic garage door overlay systems, manufactured in Eugene. The kits provide the look of real wood and are designed to stick on metal garage doors without using tools. Cost ranges from $495 to $925. See a video at or call Medlen at 514-3331.

Reality Kitchen has a new food cart, Eugene’s Best Soft Pretzels, which made its first appearance at the Eugene Celebration last weekend.

The Eugene-based Terra Firma Botanicals is now offering a unique product, Chocolate Elixirs, according to River Kennedy, president of the company. The organic brews include “Passion,” an elixir intended to “stimulate sexual vitality.” Others are for energy, balance and relaxation. See

SheerID, founded in Eugene earlier this year, has this week added the UO Duck Store to its client base. SheerID will help the store confirm alumni status for discount offers. The store had a problem last year when a coupon code went viral and nonmembers redeemed discounts. SheerID also confirms military status and other targeted groups, according to CEO Jake Weatherly. See

The fifth annual BRING Home and Garden Tour, a self-guided tour of 12 homes and gardens that exemplify the art of sustainable living, is coming up Sunday, Sept. 8. See story next week and visit or email

Beer, food and activism? Great combo. Many enviro and political groups and other nonprofits are raising money by teaming up with restaurants and pubs for special days or evenings. The venues donate a percentage to the groups and the groups in turn work to get their members and anyone else they can find to show up and spend money. Everybody wins. We run some of these events occasionally in Biz Beat, but we’re starting to get a lot of them. Keep sending them in, but we’ll probably only run ones that are a really good deal for the nonprofits, such as 50 percent of the proceeds, as opposed to 10 percent of the profits. Don’t forget to send them to our What’s Happening Calendar, too, 

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