Company Credits Employee Empowerment with Record Profits
Vermont Business Magazine Woman-owned Nutty Steph’s announced that they have become an employee-owned cooperative as of April 1 of this year. The company says the change has fueled the chocolate and granola company’s profits, a shift that began in the months leading to its becoming a coop.
“The difference is stunning,” said Jaquelyne Rieke, Nutty Steph’s cofounder. “We were breaking even for the last nine years, and as soon as we had four people willing to embrace the employee-ownership path, everyone, including the entire business, perked up. Sales and profits are up, because everyone’s more empowered.”
“I was surprised how easy it is,” added Rieke, “I was speaking with another family-owned business who imagined all of these barriers to becoming employee-owned. But after talking with us, now they’re going down the same path.”
“Nutty Steph’s is seeing what scores of companies in Vermont have seen – employee-ownership boosts not only the local economy, but also company stability and productivity,” said Matt Cropp, Co-Executive Director of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center. Vermont holds one of the highest rates of employee-ownership in the U.S.
“I couldn’t have sold the business two years ago before we were a coop,” Rieke noted. “But now, the workers are happier and the company is worth a lot more.”
Vermont Employee Ownership Center (www.veoc.org) promotes and fosters employee ownership in order to broaden capital ownership, deepen employee participation, retain jobs, increase living standards for working families, and stabilize communities.
Nutty Steph’s (www.nuttystephs.com) is a small and mighty cooperative dedicated to inspiring a more delicious world. Since 2003, Nutty Steph’s has handcrafted chocolate and granola products to connect the purity of its flavors to its origin, to the Earth, and to each customer’s pleasure and soul.