Employee Spotlight | September, 2017 | Moose
What is your position and how long have you worked for French Broad Chocolates?
I’m our Assistant Bookkeeper and I started last March, so it’s been one and a half years. I also go to UNCA- I graduate this winter with a BS in Global Business.
Why do you like working here?
I enjoy working with small businesses, and I really love the culture, it’s something that needs to be built over time, you can’t buy it. I enjoy the people here and that French Broad Chocolates treats the environment and its employees well.
What are you currently reading/listening to?
I’m reading a bunch of textbooks, my favorite is Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization. My favorite short story is called The Egg by Andy Weir. It says that we are everyone, everything that you’ve done harmful to someone, you’ve done to yourself and everything you’ve done that’s good, you’ve done to yourself. I’m also reading The Gift Of Fear by Gavin de Becker- it’s about how our instinct and intuition are a gift. I’m reading it as part of a self-defense class I’m taking at UNCA, we discuss how to be safe and go into the gym and practice self-defense moves. For music, I’m always listening to Kendrick Lamar, I even have a plant at home named Kendrick, it’s a money tree!
What else are you into?
I’m into art- I love to paint! I’ve been busy lately but I’m getting back into it. I love to travel, over the summer I went to Budapest, Venice, Madrid, Barcelona and all over Morocco. I especially loved Budapest, it was my first time traveling overseas, the architecture is beautiful and you can walk everywhere. I went to a thermal spa and we hiked around the city, rode trains and ate so much food - I really loved the döner kebab. Surprisingly we didn’t get lost
What is your go-to form of self care?
Water. Going to my hometown in Coastal NC, hiking to a waterfall, I seek out water everywhere.
What’s your favorite place to go in Asheville?
I love Yacht Club - there are always interesting people there, and the food is good - I like to get the Yacht Club Club - my favorite beer is Highwire Brown but sometimes I mix it up with Dos Equis
What is your favorite French Broad Chocolates treat?
I’m actually not that into sweets but I love our Vanilla Cheesecake with Almond Crust - It’s one of my favorite things in life, I have fond memories of eating Cheesecake and watching Golden Girls with my grandma, I watch Golden Girls every night before I fall asleep.
What are you most excited about right now?
Graduating! I’m so excited! I’ve worked really hard and have had ups and downs but I didn’t stop and I’m getting it! I’m also super excited about our B-Corp Certification!
What was the process to get certified?
I gained interest at an event at New Belgium last summer, It was to spark interest among asheville companies that were interested in becoming B Corps. Their slogan is using business as a force for good. Business is one of my passions, I really believe in the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) so I really think that this is the future of business. The process took a long time. First I created an account through B-Labs, which gives you access to an 80 page assessment, Each assessment is based on industry, our industry is manufacturing. After you’ve reached the goal of 80/200 points, B labs audits the assessment and select things that they want to see documentation on. There’s a back and forth that took months of conference calls and supplying all the information that they requested, getting certified is a team activity. It took Jael and Dan’s help and Lauren (our Human Resources Director)’s help to get the full picture of the company and it took a year for us to get our certification. Every two years we are up for review, and the goal is to be continuously improving to have a greater impact on our triple bottom line.
What did you learn?
It was surprising to learn how much good a business can actually do. The potential impact on your surroundings is amazing. The categories of the assessment are Governance, Environment, Community, Workers, and Customers. It’s literally the most rigorous standards. We made our business transparent, there was no stone unturned. We got certified, which is a huge achievement, but we already have so many ideas on how we can improve, it really opened our eyes.
What are you the most passionate about improving?
I would like to see our company work with Just Economics again, to get living wage certified. We’re working on it and getting close. The cost of living in Asheville is very high. We’re already environmentally friendly but I want us to continue to improve our green production, as we’re expanding. Both of these things will help us to make an even bigger impact on our community and the world.
Read more about our B Corp certification here!