To become a Responsible Company

 

“Every company has a responsibility to its community, which includes the neighborhoods and cities in which we operate, its varied communities of interests and its virtual community of blogs and social media”  ~Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder

In the summer of 2018, we had the privilege of growing our food truck dream within our Mount Washington Valley home. This year we are making it our goal to evolve Cheese Louise from a successful business to a responsible company. First, we would like to define exactly what we mean by this. Let's start with Responsible. Responsible to whom? Our goal is to establish a company that is responsible to our employees, responsible to our community, and responsible to the environment.

For our employees, we plan to cultivate an environment in which all members of Cheese Louise feel safe. Safe to take the lead, safe to take risks, and safe to put their own needs before those of the company. We aim to combat the societal trend that reduces workers to nameless cogs in a profit-centric production machine. This season we will take Cheese Louise down a road that, over time, and at the expense of human potential, has become the road less traveled.  We plan to share ownership of our company with our employees by allowing every worker at Cheese Louise the opportunity to buy or work for partial ownership of our company. By humanizing our business we will not only benefit our employees but our community as a whole through responsible and equal opportunity employment.

To be responsible to our community we plan to give back and uplift the many nonprofit organizations hard at work in the Mount Washington Valley. Part of this effort will be a weekly donation program in which a portion of our daily sales will go directly to funding these community organizations and to help spread awareness for the work they do. We have also set a goal of donating 1000 Grilled Cheese sandwiches by 2020.

To be responsible to the environment we plan to make 100% of the waste we produce during our daily operations either compostable or recyclable. This means switching to compostable utensils, compostable napkins and no longer offering a landfill receptacle outside of our operation. We view these steps as a bare minimum in environmental responsibility, and would like to take our promise a step further by pledging 1% of our annual revenue as a donation to non-profit organizations that focus on environmental protection and conservation.  

Now that we have explained how we intend to make our business more responsible we will explain how we intend to transform our business into a company. Colloquially we use these terms interchangeably. However, they are not the same and we believe that it is important that we acknowledge their differences. A business is defined as simply a commercial operation.  Alternately, a company is a group of individuals gathered together, especially for a particular purpose. While analyzing our 2018 data and developing projections for this coming season, it was easy to treat Cheese Louise as just a profit-centric business based on one-dimensional sandwich data. But beyond the cells of an excel spreadsheet, we strive to be much more than this. We are a company: a group of individuals gathered together with the purpose of serving customers the best-grilled cheese sandwiches and doing it with a smile. If we are to achieve our goals of becoming more responsible, we cannot do so as a business. From this season on we are a company, a group of friends and workers gathered together to serve our community, the environment, and our customers the best grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet.


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