At Garden of Esther, local is pretty important. We bend over backwards to get as many of our ingredients as possible from local farmers and vendors. We firmly believe that living and shopping locally is the foundation of any community.
But sometimes, local just isn't possible. Case in point - the chickpea flour for our gluten-free pastas.
You can't really grow chickpeas in Florida.
So we had some decisions to make about where to get our chickpea flour.
As you've heard us say before - we really do make every decision with an eye on its impact on the future and that all of our little decisions can and do add up to big benefits. Garden of Esther may be one small company but we will be the change we want to see in the world.
So we get our chickpea flour from Bob's Red Mill.
Why Bob's Red Mill?
Bob's Red Mill was founded by a couple with a passion for whole grains and healthy eating many years before it was trendy. What started as a small family business, with Bob at the helm, became a big business with over 500 employees and hundreds of products.
Almost from the very beginning, he had an employee profit-sharing plan in place. It seemed only fair to give employees the chance to benefit from hard work and dedication. Over the years, as the company saw more and more success, employees began seeing monthly profit-sharing bonuses in addition to their regular paychecks.
In 2010, Bob took an even bigger step towards ensuring the well-being and loyalty of his employees: he began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. His employees have a genuine and significant stake in the company's success. With each passing year, the employees own a larger and larger percentage of the business.
He did the "right" thing - he chose to share the success with the very people who were integral to it. There are a lot of CEOs out there who could learn a thing or two from Bob Moore.
But his "right" thing was also a great thing for the business. Bob's Red Mill employees work really hard because they are directly vested in its success. What better way to motivate employees?
The Bob's Red Mill story is amazing and inspiring. Imagine if all the Amazons and Walmarts of the world treated their employees this well?
Garden of Esther can only dream of following a path similar to Bob's Red Mill. But we'd like to think we would treat our employees like Bob does - like family.
So Garden of Esther does not buy chickpea flour locally. We buy it from a company in Oregon that uses garbanzo beans grown in Montana.
But we feel pretty good about that choice.