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An eloquent pro-labor, pro-public education essay - in a mail order spice catalog, of all places.

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ehrnst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 08:00 AM
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An eloquent pro-labor, pro-public education essay - in a mail order spice catalog, of all places.
On Sunday I was driving through nearby Falls Church, VA, and saw a new store, Penzey's Spices.

I stopped in, wound up buying some Hot Chocolate mix and some adobo peppers, and got a catalog in my bag.

As I looked through it, I saw a message from the founder of the company which is based in Wisconsin:

"In our continuing celebration of Penzeys Spices twenty-five years, in this issue we are highlighting where we come from. In our travels throughout this great country we have seen lots of great places to start and grow a business; our great place to start and grow has been Wisconsin.

Seems when talking about launching a business the standard tale to tell is one of epic struggle: challenges met, competitors bested, obstacles overcome etc. I have not found it to be that. In fact the twenty-five years from starting with me being the only employee to this year where I now have over 500 great co-workers all over the country have been a lot of fun and in many ways easy. I really think being lucky enough to get our start in Wisconsin has a lot to do with this.

Current politics aside, whether business taxes go up or down a few percentage points doesn't mean much to the health of a business. What actually matters is really pretty simple. What a business needs to be healthy is great workers and enough customers.

Great workers don't grow on trees, they grow in classrooms. As a business that manufactures, that creates a product known for quality, I can't think of a more important piece to our growth than having great people. Penzeys, like every other business here, benefits tremendously from Wisconsin's long tradition of valuing education as an investment in our future, and its history of respecting the teachers who are kind enough to dedicate their lives to educating our young.

And as a retailer that sells to people of every possible economic background we also owe a great debt for the sacrifices that generations of Wisconsinites have made to ensure that it is not only the privileged few who have a couple extra bucks in their pockets. These days, with two-thirds of the nation's economy being retail, this country's life blood is a healthy middle class. In Wisconsin we are lucky enough to have more than a few who understand having that healthy middle class was not a gift, it was a struggle. Their efforts are a big part of why Penzeys has made it as far as we have.

Wisconsin is a great place, not the only great place, but certainly one of them. I hope you enjoy the stories and try a few of the recipes of the people where we come from. And give that Northwoods a try. It really is a great place to be."

They are getting more business from me.
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