It’s hard enough to succeed in the restaurant business, especially in New York City.

But twenty-five years and three packed locations later, Candle Cafe co-owners, Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, have not only created a powerhouse restaurant group, they’ve made organic, vegan, farm-to-table cuisine soulful, delectable, and seriously profitable.

Bart and Joy didn’t just set out to build a thriving business; their quest was personal. They were on a mission to grow a deeply connected community, a movement that was an organic extension of their deepest convictions about food, source, people, and life.

So many times, people look for the gaps in the market, the need to be filled, the place where the greatest economic potential lies when choosing a career or business to start. And that’s definitely a piece of the puzzle. But more importantly, especially for soul-driven individuals, is to build your career or business upon a deep sense of internal alignment.

It doesn’t matter how many people will line up to pay you for something if it’s not also a path, a business, and a product, service, or experience you believe in deeply and are called to create and deliver.

When it comes to soulful career and business building, alignment is the master key!

You Must Align Three Key Elements

1. Who you are and what makes you come alive

2. What you’re capable of creating

3. What people value enough to pay you, and what you need to live and give well.

So many people focus only on the second and third elements and discount the importance of the first. They build a career or business and earn money, but end up largely disinterested in what they’re doing and whom they’re serving. Alignment matters.

In this week’s Good Life Project, we explore Bart and Joy’s incredible twenty-five-year quest to not only build a radiant life together, but also a powerhouse, a soul and belly-filling business.

You’ll discover how they balanced planning with “providence,” attracted people who were closely aligned with their mission, developed a mouthwatering vegan menu, brand extensions, frozen entrees in major retail stores, books, and beyond. All the while, being true to themselves and to each other.

FYI—Joy was in full-on launch mode for their latest restaurant when we were filming, so she didn’t have time to come hang out on camera. But, as soon as we wrapped, Earth Mother Joy pretty much hand fed the entire crew and even may have made a few meat and potato converts!


Jonathan Fields is a dad, husband, author, speaker, lifestyle innovator, and entrepreneur who produces the acclaimed Good Life Project web show, blogs at, and runs book marketing educational venture His latest book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance was named #1 personal development book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ. He has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Inc., Entrepreneur, USA Today, People, CNBC,, PBS Nightly Report, O Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Self, Fitness, Yoga Journal, and thousands of other places that sound cool, but don’t impress his daughter all that much. You can also check him out on Facebook and Twitter.