Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik Named “Best Small Business In America”

Rubicon Sponsored Contest To Help Find The Best SMB Committed To Sustainability And  A Better World Awards Al Johnson’s $10,000 Prize

Atlanta, GA (November 24, 2018) – On Small Business Saturday, Rubicon, a leader in providing waste, recycling, and smart city solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, today announced Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik as the Best Small Business in America, based on public voting. The business will be receiving a check for $10,000 as the winner.

Based in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, Al Johnson’s has been serving authentic Swedish and mainstream America ‘comfort food’ since 1949.  In the early 1970s, when the restaurant was looking to expand, it pulled in some authenticity from its Norwegian roots and had a grass and sod roof built in Norway and shipped to the U.S.  Grass and sod roofs are long known for absorbing rainwater, providing superior natural and sustainable insulation, and creating an ecosystem and habitat for wildlife.  The signature grass roof of Al Johnson’s has helped reduce spending on energy and heat, and has become a landmark staple and example in the community, where even the local goats walk the roof.  Al Johnson’s has even earned certification in Wisconsin’s Travel Green Program for their special grass and sod roof.

The second annual ‘Best Small Business in America’ contest drew hundreds of entries across the U.S.  Leaders from Rubicon judged the entries along with executives from Toast, the fastest-growing restaurant management platform in the U.S.; and MINDBODY, the leading technology platform for the fitness, wellness and beauty services industries, to whittle the initial entries down to the final 15, which were then open to public voting to decide the winner.

Rubicon asks small businesses to tell their stories on what differentiates them from the rest and how they are using business as a force for social or environmental good.  This commitment to social and environmental stewardship is a hallmark of Rubicon’s corporate culture as a Certified B Corporation.  Businesses are encouraged to list the challenges that they have faced and overcome to make the business successful, as well as socially and environmentally conscious.

“Al Johnson’s is a prime example of a small business taking advantage of its history and integrating a sustainable solution that yields financial and environmental benefits, along with demonstrating sustainability in action for its patrons,” said David Rachelson, Vice President of Sustainability for Rubicon.

Sister Bay is one hour North East of Green Bay, Wisconsin and has a population of approximately 1,000 residents.

“It is an incredible honor to be named the Best Small Business in America by Rubicon.  We were truly gratified to be a finalist among such an incredible group of other small businesses across the United States, businesses where green business practices, community-mindedness, and responsiveness as an employer are guiding principles in operations,” said Lars Johnson, Co-Owner of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik.

2019 will be the 70th anniversary for Al Johnson’s, but the restaurant prides itself that the way it operates now hasn’t changed much since its inception.  The founder, Al Johnson, was a Swedish immigrant and a World War II veteran who served with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne. Mr. Johnson started the restaurant by hiring good people, treating them well and being mindful of giving back to the community in numerous ways.

“We still operate by the principles Mr. Johnson laid out so many years ago.  As such, we will be donating the $10,000 prize we are being awarded as the Best Small Business in America by Rubicon and giving that to the Wisconsin Humane Society, thereby helping us extend and enrich our existing program of supporting good local works in the arts, social services, sustainability, and community programs,” Lars Johnson concluded.

About Rubicon

Rubicon is a technology company that provides waste, recycling, and smart city solutions to businesses and governments worldwide. It develops and deploys a full suite of cloud-based solutions to help its customers and network of independent waste haulers work towards more sustainable waste and recycling practices, uncover cost savings, and improve operations through data analytics. Using its proprietary technology platform, Rubicon helps its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals, always with an eye towards those solutions that have long-term economic viability. The company has over 1,000,000 service locations worldwide, is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and has core teams in New York City and San Francisco. Rubicon is a Certified B Corporation and was named a Great Place to Work™ in 2018. Learn more at

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