What do you step up for?
Molly Moon’s steps up for our community! This takes form in many different ways, in the giving we do, in the sustainable practices we use, the partnerships we form and programs we develop within our company.
You are out to prove that a financially, environmentally and socially responsible business can be profitable and continue to grow. Tell us how you’re doing that.
We believe you can do the right thing in business and as a company and still be profitable. We take care of our employees, the environment and our community, and are still able to grow each year.
We provide great benefits to our employees, we pay 100% of the health premiums for every employee who works over 20 hours a week. We also provide 12 weeks of paid family leave, sick and safe pay, secure schedules and career advancement opportunities. Treating our employees exceptionally well creates a happier, healthier workforce.
It is very important to us that we source our ingredients locally and that they are organic. Getting our fresh organic ingredients from WA farms means that not only are we saving resources by not needing to ship product from far away, but we are stimulating our local economy and building stronger relationships with our neighbors. All of the cups, bowls, spoons and napkins we use in shops are 100% compostable. Our shops are all fully wind powered. Though all of this costs more, it’s a part of the fabric of our company and a way to live our values which our customers appreciate.
Being socially responsible to us not only means taking care of our employees and environment, but also means being equitable and inclusive, and giving back to our community. This year we worked with over 50 community organizations as a part of our equitable recruitment campaign and now have a workforce more diverse than the city of Seattle itself. We promote equity through our strong food bank work and our equity partners such as the NAACP, Families of Color Seattle and Friends of the Children. We support women and girl empowerment through our partnership with the Girl Scouts, and education through our giving to Seattle Public Schools. We also partner whenever possible with local women and/or artists of color for any of our creative projects.
Tell us about your giving program and social justice work.
We established a non-profit, the Anna Banana Milk Fund to raise money for food banks in need in our community. We now donate 1% of our sales or 10% of our profits, half of which goes to food banks. We work with food banks in each of our shop neighborhoods and provide funding to help ensure customers at those food banks have access to the fresh milk and dairy products they need. Many of our employees donate directly from their paychecks to FamilyWorks, a foodbank across the street from our original shop. Last year our employees personally donated over $12,000! Last year Molly Moon's as a company donated $65,000 to food banks, Seattle Public Schools, local Girl Scouts, local Arts Organizations and non-profits focused on social justice and equity work!
Last year we were able to expand our Anna Banana Milk Fund work, to give to not only FamilyWorks food bank in Wallingford, but give to a food bank in each of our shop neighborhoods. We now work closely with seven neighborhood food banks and help to get them fresh milk and dairy products for their customers. We also partner with them on community events.
Our founder Molly has been an activist advocating for worker’s rights in Seattle and Washington state since the day she became a business owner. Over the years, she has brought our leadership team to activism and lobbying tables at the city, state, and federal levels. Since 2008 Molly has actively advocated for healthcare reform that lead to the Affordable Care Act, Marriage Equality, Seattle’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave laws, Washington State’s increased minimum wage and guaranteed safe and sick leave, Seattle’s secure scheduling law, and most recently advocated for a paid family leave bill in the Washington State Legislature that passed!
Along with food banks, we partner with non-profits focused on equity. This year we worked closely with Friends of the Children, a mentoring organization that strives to break the cycle of generational poverty in Seattle. We helped them celebrate their program graduates and supported their after school program. We also sponsored youth in the NAACP's ACT-SO program to compete at the national level in various academic categories. We worked with the Girl Scouts of Western WA this year to send 9 girls scouts to summer camp who had never had the opportunity to attend before.
In order to be more equitable and inclusive in our hiring this year we removed several barriers to our application process. We no longer require applications be submitted online. Paper applications are available in all shops. We no longer require a cover letter and resume be submitted for scooper, ice cream maker or delivery driver positions. We also hosted career days where the community could come in to any shop and meet our teams and ask us questions, or get help with their applications. We worked with over 50 community partner organizations to get the word out about our jobs in various ways and to a more diverse audience. The result—we hired a workforce with a more diverse makeup than the city of Seattle itself. This means that a more diverse community has access to some of the best jobs and benefits a company can offer!
A huge part of how we express the molly moons’ brand is through art, design, and collaboration. We aim to collaborate with local artists and chefs of color whenever possible and know how important it is to work with a diverse set of artists who communicate various cultural backgrounds and perspectives that resonate with all of our customers.
Who do you look up to?
So many people inspire me! here are three of them:
Andy Rappaport — My mentor who helped me start a nonprofit in my 20s and who invested in my Molly Moon's. His complimentary passions for business and progressive politics and social justice have taught me a ton.
US Senator Patty Murray — Just a mom in tennis shoes who is one of the toughest fighters for women and families in the world.
Gerald Hankerson — The president of the Seattle, King County and Washington State NAACP. Gerald got out of 21 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and then dedicated himself to organizing on behalf of workers and people of color. He is passionate, hard working, and so dedicated to helping people live better lives.
What’s your favorite quote?
"With great power comes great responsibility” — this quote has questionable origins. I had a plaque on my desk in student government in college that said it was by Winston Churchill, but some have said it came from Voltaire, or the 1793 French National Convention, or even Spider Man in the 60s!
What’s your favorite way to start off your day?
What is one thing that you do everyday that contributes to your success?
tactical: Put everything in my calendar and do everything my calendar says.
philosophically: Ask myself in every situation, “Is this the best way to make the world better?”