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|Articles - March 2011|
|Tuesday, March 01, 2011|
Page 3 of 7
Of course the company has paid for employee bands to record their own albums. Of course there are wagging dogs to greet you at the laid-back headquarters in Southeast Portland. Of course their 2008 Christmas party featured a mechanical bull and free tattoos. And yes, of course they threw a keg of beer on a tour bus and took 25 of their employees to a Slayer show in Salem in 2006.
But the 11-year-old company, which has 150 employees and locations in Portland, Seattle and New York, goes beyond thrash metal and a full-time masseuse. There are solid wages, health care — “Before I even took a paycheck, I wanted to make sure all my employees had health care,” Sorenson says — and, coming soon, a retirement plan for a traditionally young but steady workforce that has begun to buy houses and start families.
Sorenson says he hires people who inspire him, even if that initially comes through their artwork or music, and who seek out Stumptown’s values — those embodied by its commitment to its farmers, for example — as much as the company’s cool vibe.
Matt Lounsbury, director of operations, says that latter point may be what employees appreciate most about working for Stumptown.
“Otherwise, you’re just representing a product,” he says. “Duane doesn’t ask anybody to sell T-shirts or anything other than coffee, but in turn he’s giving the best ingredients the world has to offer so that you feel like you have a company you can stand behind. That’s real.”
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