Family Owned

Spotlight on The Manghis’ Bread

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a family-owned bakery that’s been serving fresh-baked bread to their community for over 35 years. From February 18th – 24th, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all products from The Manghis’ Bread! Read on to learn more about their rich history and commitment to community:

 

Elaine and Paul Manghi founded the Manghis’ Bread in their North Randolph home in the late 1970s. Their mission was to provide healthy, homestyle breads at an affordable price for local families. The business moved to Montpelier in 1980. From 1980 until 2010 Elaine and Paul were the constant faces of the bakery, arriving in the early morning and going strong until afternoon. In February 2010, Paul passed away unexpectedly. The dedicated staff rallied and kept the bakery running smoothly. For several more years, Elaine continued greeting customers and calling wholesale accounts at the bakery, her home away from home. She retired in the spring of 2014 with much appreciation from the staff and
the larger community.

Since then, Manghis’ has evolved into a real family business. Elaine’s daughter, Maria, continues to work with the retail staff and now carries Paul’s operational duties. Elaine’s son-in-law, Steve, left New England Culinary Institute in 2010. He now carries Paul’s production duties, assisting the bakers to mix and bake the goods that are so loved. Elaine’s son, Matthew, occasionally jumps in to assist in both the production and retail sales.

Maria & Steve Stoufer

The foundation of the business is still to provide wholesome breads, breakfast sweets, and seasonal holiday items at an affordable price for local families. Currently, the bakery is primarily a wholesale operation, selling anywhere from 1,800–3,000 loaves to roughly 40 small Vermont businesses each week. Over 35 + years of operation they have also found quite the following with local families and are growing a much larger retail business, which unfortunately has been put on hold due to the pandemic. 

According to Steve and Maria, the bakery strives to be an asset to their community as a solid contributor to the local economy, a sustainable business model, and a concerned community advocate. They strive to minimize their impact on the environment with their unique volunteer delivery system. They provide for all of their staff a competitive wage and a safe, caring environment in which to work. They aim to encourage and support the growth of professional development and create customer satisfaction with their products and with their service.

Whether it is the regular loaf of white bread or the extra special bourbon cakes, Manghis’ is a warm and welcoming Montpelier establishment, offering a special mix of homemade treats and good character. They all look forward to continuing to serve this community for many generations to come.

Spotlight on Badger

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Badger this week. This small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company nestled in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire is beyond worthy of the spotlight. They help define what it means to be a socially accountable, environmentally responsible, people-first kind of business. They are featured in our Member Deals Spotlight this week, so all of their fabulous body care products are 20% off for member-owners from November 26th – December 2nd! We happen to think they make great stocking stuffers!  Read on to learn about the ideals, principles, and practices that make their company worthy of such high praise:

high-res-logo-for-print

Badger was born in 1995 when founder Bill Whyte was working as a carpenter in the cold New Hampshire winters and created an amazing balm that helped soothe and heal his cracked hands. Badger Bill ran the company (as CEO) along with his wife Katie Schwerin (as COO) and their two daughters Rebecca Hamilton and Emily Schwerin-Whyte and it grew to over 100 products and over 90 employees. In 2018 Bill passed the leadership of the company on to Rebecca and Emily making them both CEOs or Collaborative Executive Officers. Click HERE to read more about Badger’s amazing history.

Badger Bill and family

 

Quality Ingredients and Standards

Badger selects ingredients with great care, using only those that fit their rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health-giving properties. Every ingredient they use is grown and processed with the highest degree of respect for protecting the environment, the workers, and the natural properties of the plants. Nearly all of Badger’s products are made from 100% USDA Certified Organic food-grade ingredients and they utilize as many fair trade certified ingredients as possible. You can view their impressive growing and processing standards on their web page. 

Team of Friendly Badgers

B Corp Status

Badger became a B Corporation in 2011 to help assess and improve their business practices and ensure that they’re always doing what’s right for people and the planet. In June of 2018, Badger was named ‘Best For the World’ and ‘Best for the Environment’ by the folks at B Corp, recognizing their efforts to create a positive impact for workers, the environment, and the community. At the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Badger joined a group of over 500 other B corporations in committing to Net Zero by 2030. That means reaching a perfect equilibrium with the earth—drawing all of their energy from renewable sources, and releasing zero carbon into the atmosphere. 

Badger facility & ecology center
Badger Facility & Ecology Center Gardens

Going Solar

This past September, Badger was so excited to officially unveil their 1,384-unit, 486.7-kilowatt array of solar panels! Mounted on their grounds and stretching across their rooftops, the panels produce enough clean solar energy to power all of their operations—and even send extra electricity back to the grid. These panels will eliminate about 636,000 pounds of carbon pollution every year!

New Solar Panels Powering the Badger Campus in Gilsum, NH

 

Family-Focused Employee Programs

Badger was awarded the Connect 2016 Philosophy Award for its accommodating employee benefits and exemplary work environment. Creating a family-friendly workplace is a high priority at Badger. They aim to be supportive of new parents in their extended work family while considering the well-being of all employees and productivity in the workplace. They offer extended parental leave and a Babies At Work program, which brings together a policy that is best for baby, parent, and business. This policy allows the parent to bring the child to the workplace until it begins crawling, at which time it graduates to Badger’s Calendula Garden Childcare Center. The Center is located just a quarter-mile from the Badger campus and offers high-quality, subsidized childcare for children of their employees.  Badger, in a sense, creates its own “village” to support both parent and child!

 

Calendula Garden Child Care Center
Calendula Garden Child Care Center

Another exemplary aspect of employee care is their free lunch program. This is a daily organic lunch served during a paid 30-minute break. Every day their fabulous cooks prepare a free, home-cooked lunch for all of the Badgers made from 100% organic and mostly local foods. During the summer months, much of the produce comes right from their Badger Ecology Center regenerative vegetable garden! Read more about Badger’s impressive employee benefits here.

Free organic lunch!
Free Organic Lunch For Badger Staff

Product Certifications

Badger believes that third-party certifications take the guesswork out of claims made on cosmetics and personal care items. This means that they adhere to the standards and guidelines of any third party agency certifying their products. Their products are certified organic by both the USDA and the NSF, many of the ingredients are Fair Trade certified, and all products are certified gluten-free and certified cruelty-free. Recently, their full line of mineral sunscreens was among the first to bear a new Protect Land + Sea Certification, a seal verifying that a product does not contain any ingredients or contaminants considered harmful to coral reef environments, sea turtles, and other aquatic life.

 

 

Take a Virtual Tour with Badger Bill:

 

A Tour of Badger from Badger Balm on Vimeo.

Spotlight on Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Warm weather is finally here and socially distanced barbecues are officially a thing, so we wanted to take a moment to shine our Co-op Spotlight on a local independent craft beer producer that is bound to bring some sunshine to your social scene. Lawson’s Finest Liquids hails from the Mad River Valley of Vermont and their craft brews have earned critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fan following.  Read on to learn more about this celebrated craft brewery, their commitment to the local community, and their heady brews: 

Their Story

In 2008, after 20 years of homebrewing, Sean and Karen Lawson officially founded Lawson’s Finest Liquids in a small building resembling a sugarhouse adjacent to their home. Fast forward to 2018 and the brewery grounds in Waitsfield consist of three buildings occupying more than 25,000 square feet, housing a 34-barrel brewery, taproom, retail store, warehouse, and distribution center. What began as a husband and wife team is now home to over 50 employees. Their specialty maple beers & IPA’s have garnered awards at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and at two National IPA championships.

The Taproom

Sean is a graduate of the University of Vermont, with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Masters in Forestry. His first career was as a scientist and educator. Sean continues to lead outings with the Naturalist Program he founded in 1996 at Mad River Glen ski area. Sean served as President of Vermont Brewers Association from 2014-2017 and was an active Board member for nine years.

Karen is also a graduate of the University of Vermont, with a Masters Degree in Public Administration. Her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Psychology was obtained at Franklin Pierce in NH. After graduation, Karen had a 20-year career in Vermont state government.

Sean and Karen were recently named as the 2020 Vermont Small Business Persons of the year by the US Small Business Administration. According to Vermont Business Magazine, the Lawson’s were awarded this honor in recognition of their employment growth, success in the marketplace, company expansion, and community involvement. 

Founders Sean & Karen Lawson

Philanthropy

The Lawsons are committed to paying their employees a generous living wage and benefits, which Karen noted as being particularly important in a service-oriented ski town where income often reflects the vagaries of weather and scheduling. In lieu of tipping at their taproom, guests are invited to make a contribution to a featured local nonprofit. This program, known as the Sunshine Fund, features a rotating list of non-profits who serve as the beneficiary for this program. The non-profits are selected based on their work supporting healthy communities, food and economic security, natural resource protection, and sustainable recreation. Since their taproom opening in October 2018, they’ve been able to donate half a million dollars to local non-profit organizations through the Sunshine Fund!

In addition to the Sunshine Fund, the fine folks at Lawson’s Finest also offer mini-grants via their Super Sessions initiative. Through this program, they aim to build impactful connections and strengthen communities while creating memorable experiences by offering pint-sized grants for playful Super Sessions to bring people together in fun ways that build community anywhere Lawson’s Finest is distributed. For example, a group could organize a synchronized cannonball jump in the town pond to raise money for cancer research or sponsor a bike parade and cook-out to honor local school teachers. Quarterly, their employee-run Super Session Selection Squad will choose projects to each receive up to a $250 check to launch a Super Session. Applications will be scored on several criteria including innovation, community-building, fun, and credibility. Click here for an application.

Mission

Lawson’s Finest Liquids produces beer of the highest quality with outstanding freshness. They emulate the best of widely appreciated styles of beer, featuring world-class IPAs and unique maple brews while quenching the thirst of beer lovers from near and far.

Core Values

Lawson’s Finest Liquids aims for the highest quality standards in our beer production and in how they build relationships with employees, community partners, customers, and each other. They do this by valuing:

  • Quality
  • Our employees
  • Our customers
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Our company
  • Transparency
  • Philanthropy
  • Genuine personal interactions 

In addition, they value the beautiful Mad River Valley and work to reduce their environmental impact through the conservation of resources. They use earth-friendly products in their operations and re-use and recycle their materials.

Current Services

During this very challenging time, their taproom must remain closed, though their drive-thru retail store allows for easy pickups of your online orders. Click here to learn more about the process and policies for their online ordering and curbside pick-up program. They are adhering to all of the latest guidance from the Vermont Governor’s office and the CDC in order to ensure the safety of their staff and guests. They continue to offer a 40% discount for healthcare workers (please bring your work ID). They want to thank all of their guests for continuing to support Lawson’s Finest Liquids in this new environment, and they look forward to the day when we can all share a cheers over a beer in the taproom again!

Retail Drive-Thru

Their Beers

 In addition to their highly-touted year-round offerings — Sip of Sunshine and Super Session IPA series, Lawson’s Finest offers a rotating selection of beers which can be seen here. Also, click here to check out their 2020 release schedule. 

 

Spotlight on Badger

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Badger this week. This small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company nestled in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire is beyond worthy of the spotlight. They help define what it means to be a socially accountable, environmentally responsible, people-first kind of business. They are featured in our Member Deals Spotlight this week, so all of their fabulous body care products are 20% off for member-owners from November 29th – December 4th! We think they make great stocking stuffers!  Read on to learn about the ideals, principles, and practices that make their company worthy of such high praise:

high-res-logo-for-print

Badger was born in 1995 when founder Bill Whyte was working as a carpenter in the cold New Hampshire winters and created an amazing balm that helped soothe and heal his cracked hands. Badger Bill ran the company (as CEO) along with his wife Katie Schwerin (as COO) and their two daughters Rebecca Hamilton and Emily Schwerin-Whyte and it grew to over 100 products and over 80 employees. In 2018 Bill passed the leadership of the company on to Rebecca and Emily making them both CEOs or Collaborative Executive Officers. Click HERE to read more about Badger’s amazing history.

Badger Bill and family

 

Quality Ingredients and Standards

Badger selects ingredients with great care, using only those that fit their rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health-giving properties. Every ingredient they use is grown and processed with the highest degree of respect for protecting the environment, the workers and the natural properties of the plants. Nearly all of Badger’s products are made from 100% USDA Certified Organic food-grade ingredients and they utilize as many fair trade certified ingredients as possible. You can view their impressive growing and processing standards on their web page.

Team of Friendly Badgers

B Corp Status

Badger became a B Corporation in 2011 to help assess and improve their business practices and ensure that they’re always doing what’s right for people and the planet. In June of 2018, Badger was named ‘Best For the World’ and ‘Best for the Environment’ by the folks at B Corp, recognizing their efforts to create a positive impact for workers, environment, and community.

Badger facility & ecology center
Badger Facility & Ecology Center Gardens

Family-Focused Employee Programs

Badger was awarded the Connect 2016 Philosophy Award for its accommodating employee benefits and exemplary work environment. Creating a family-friendly workplace is a high priority at Badger. They aim to be supportive of new parents in their extended work family while considering the well-being of all employees and productivity in the workplace. They offer extended parental leave and a Babies At Work program, which brings together a policy that is best for baby, parent, and business. This policy allows the parent to bring the child to the workplace until it begins crawling, at which time it graduates to Badger’s Calendula Garden Childcare Center. The Center is located just a quarter-mile from the Badger campus and offers high-quality, subsidized childcare for children of their employees.  Badger, in a sense, creates its own “village” to support both parent and child!

 

Calendula Garden Child Care Center
Calendula Garden Child Care Center

Another exemplary aspect of employee care is their free lunch program. This is a daily organic lunch served during a paid 30-minute break. Every day their fabulous cooks prepare a free, home-cooked lunch for all of the Badgers made from 100% organic and mostly local foods. During the summer months, much of the produce comes right from their Badger Ecology Center vegetable garden! Read more about Badger’s impressive employee benefits here.

Free organic lunch!
Free Organic Lunch For Badger Staff

Product Certifications

Badger believes that third-party certifications take the guesswork out of claims made on cosmetics and personal care items. This means that they adhere to the standards and guidelines of any third party agency certifying their products. Their products are certified organic by both the USDA and the NSF, many of the ingredients are Fair Trade certified, and all products are certified gluten-free and certified cruelty-free.

 

Take a Virtual Tour with Badger Bill:

 

A Tour of Badger from Badger Balm on Vimeo.

Spotlight on Badger

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Badger this week. This small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company nestled in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire is beyond worthy of the spotlight. They help define what it means to be a socially accountable, environmentally responsible, people-first kind of business. They are featured in our Member Deals program this week, so all of their fabulous body care products are 20% for member-owners from November 23rd – 28th! Read on to learn about the ideals, principles, and practices that make their company worthy of such high praise!

high-res-logo-for-print

Badger was born in 1995 when founder Bill Whyte was working as a carpenter in the cold New Hampshire winters and created an amazing balm that helped soothe and heal his cracked hands. Badger Bill ran the company (as CEO) along with his wife Katie Schwerin (as COO) and their two daughters Rebecca Hamilton and Emily Schwerin-Whyte and it grew to over 100 products and over 80 employees. In 2018 Bill passed the leadership of the company on to Rebecca and Emily making them both CEOs or Collaborative Executive Officers. Click HERE to read more about Badger’s amazing history.

Badger Bill and family

 

Quality Ingredients and Standards

Badger selects ingredients with great care, using only those that fit their rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health-giving properties. Every ingredient they use is grown and processed with the highest degree of respect for protecting the environment, the workers and the natural properties of the plants. Nearly all of Badger’s products are made from 100% USDA Certified Organic food-grade ingredients and they utilize as many fair trade certified ingredients as possible. You can view their impressive growing and processing standards on their web page.

Team of Friendly Badgers

B Corp Status

Badger became a B Corporation in 2011 to help assess and improve their business practices and ensure that they’re always doing what’s right for people and the planet. In June of 2018, Badger was named ‘Best For the World’ and ‘Best for the Environment’ by the folks at B Corp, recognizing their efforts to create a positive impact for workers, environment, and community.

Badger facility & ecology center
Badger Facility & Ecology Center Gardens

Family-Focused Employee Programs

Badger was awarded the Connect 2016 Philosophy Award for their accommodating employee benefits and exemplary work environment. Creating a family-friendly workplace is a high priority at Badger. They aim to be supportive of new parents in their extended work family while considering the well-being of all employees and productivity in the workplace. They offer an extended parental leave and a Babies At Work program, which brings together a policy that is best for baby, parent, and business. This policy allows the parent to bring the child to the workplace until it begins crawling, at which time it graduates to Badger’s Calendula Garden Childcare Center. The Center is located just a quarter-mile from the Badger campus and offers high-quality, subsidized childcare for children of their employees.  Badger, in a sense, creates its own “village” to support both parent and child!

 

Calendula Garden Child Care Center
Calendula Garden Child Care Center

Another exemplary aspect of employee care is their free lunch program. This is a daily organic lunch served during a paid 30-minute break. Every day their fabulous cooks prepare a free, home-cooked lunch for all of the Badgers made from 100% organic and mostly local foods. During the summer months, much of the produce comes right from their Badger Ecology Center vegetable garden! Read more about Badger’s impressive employee benefits here.

Free organic lunch!
Free Organic Lunch For Badger Staff

Product Certifications

Badger believes that third-party certifications take the guesswork out of claims made on cosmetics and personal care items. This means that they adhere to the standards and guidelines of any third party agency certifying their products. Their products are certified organic by both the USDA and the NSF, many of the ingredients are Fair Trade certified, and all products are certified gluten-free and certified cruelty-free.

 

Take a Virtual Tour with Badger Bill:

 

A Tour of Badger from Badger Balm on Vimeo.

Spotlight on Badger

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Badger this week. This small, family-owned, family-run, and family-friendly company nestled in the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire is beyond worthy of the spotlight. They help define what it means to be a socially responsible, environmentally responsible, people-first kind of business. They are featured in our Member Deals program this week, so all of their fabulous body care products are 20% for member-owners from November 25th – 29th! Read on to learn about the ideals, principles, and practices that make their company worthy of such high praise!

high-res-logo-for-print

Badger was born in 1995 when founder Bill Whyte was working as a carpenter in the cold New Hampshire winters and created an amazing balm that helped soothe and heal his cracked hands. The company has since grown to over 100 products and 60 employees but “Badger Bill” still runs the show as CEO, along with his wife Katie (COO), and their two daughters Emily (VP Sales & Marketing), and Rebecca (VP of Innovation and Sustainability).

Badger Bill and family

Quality Ingredients and Standards

Badger selects ingredients with great care, using only those that fit their rigorous natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health-giving properties. Every ingredient they use is grown and processed with the highest degree of respect for protecting the environment, the workers and the natural properties of the plants. Nearly all of Badger’s products are made from 100% USDA Certified Organic food-grade ingredients and they utilize as many fair trade certified ingredients as possible. You can view their impressive growing and processing standards on their web page.

B Corp Status

In 2011, Badger became a certified B Corp. In 2015 they were recognized by the B Corp Best for the Environment list.  The list recognizes 116 businesses that earned an environmental score in the top 10% of more than 1,200 Certified B Corporations from over 120 industries on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment.

Badger facility & ecology center
Badger facility & gardens

Employee Care

Badger also recently won the Connect 2016 Philosophy Award for their accommodating employee benefits and exemplary work environment. They aim to be supportive of the new parents in their extended work family while considering the well-being of all employees and productivity in the workplace. With this in mind, their Babies At Work program brings together a policy that is best for baby, parent, and business. Most short-term disability benefits regarding pregnancies end after just six weeks, leaving the parent to find childcare as he or she returns to the workplace. Badger’s policy allows the parent to bring the child to the workplace until a specified time: in most cases until the baby is six months old or begins crawling.

The Whole Badger Crew

This program makes breastfeeding easier and allows for the inherent health benefits for both mother and child: enhanced bonding, lessening of daycare costs and more financial stability, great social network and extended-family support for both parent and child, and an easier transition to off-site child care. Once children are ready for off-site care, they have the option of attending the Calendula Garden Children’s Center.  This option offers reasonably-priced, high quality, flexible childcare for children of Badger employees, as well as a limited number of children from the greater community. The center itself is located in the renovated house that was the former home to the Badger Company, a quarter of a mile down the road from the company’s current facility. Badger, in a sense, creates its own “village” to support both parent and child!

Calendula Garden Child Care Center
Calendula Garden Child Care Center

Another exemplary aspect of employee care is their free lunch program. This is a daily organic lunch served during a paid 30-minute break. Every day their fabulous cooks prepare a free, home-cooked lunch for all of the Badgers made from 100% organic and mostly local foods. During the summer months, much of the produce comes right from their Badger vegetable garden! Read more about Badger’s impressive employee benefits here.

Free organic lunch!
Free organic lunch!

Product Certifications

Badger believes that third-party certifications take the guesswork out of claims made on cosmetics and personal care items. This means that they adhere to the standards and guidelines of any third party agency certifying their products. Their products are certified organic by both the USDA and the NSF, many of the ingredients are Fair Trade certified, and all products are certified gluten-free and certified cruelty-free.

 

Check out this short video to hear from Badger Bill about the values that make his company unique: