by Abelardo de la Pena Jr.
- Old way to staff a new neighborhood business: Put out the want ad signs, then hire and fire at will. The Arizmendi Bakery way: Work with community-based organizations to recruit, train and employ residents who’ll have the opportunity to become coowners.
- When the Bay Area bakery chain, whose specialty is fresh-from-the-oven pizza and bread, was scheduled to open a shop in San Francisco’s Mission District, it worked with groups like PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights). Together, they created bilingual outreach material, held orientation sessions and hired neighborhood residents.
- After six months of intensive training in business finance, organizational skills and food production, employees become worker-owners and are expected to buy into the business, essentially sealing their ownership (MissionLocal.org 9.14.10).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Businesses coming into a new neighborhood can create good will by hiring local. Better yet for support: giving residents a stake in the success of the business not only as consumers but also as co-owners.
- Organizations rooted in the community are ready to partner with brands.