And we are going to get all of that big news out of the way right up front! First, Dean's Beans is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary in June! That longevity is proof positive that a business can be a force for good and be profitable. We would never have reached this milestone without your support, and for that, we offer a heartfelt thank you. And after three decades at the helm, Dean is ready to officially step aside, and will retire on June 30th. And, if that wasn't enough news for one email, Dean will be selling the company to the employees, and Dean's Beans Organic Coffee will officially become a worker owned co-op!
Dean isn't disappearing altogether, though! He will join the board of directors of the newly formed co-op, giving the new worker owners the benefit of his experience and mentorship as we embark on this exciting new chapter. Our team is so excited to continue the work that Dean began over 30 years ago, and honored that he trusts us to carry this amazing, mission-driven business into the future.
Since our company's inception, Dean has been a catalyst that helped changed the way business is done industry wide. Before it was hip or trendy (and we're so glad that now it is!), Dean was valuing people and the planet over profit and insisting that business can, and should, be a force for good in the world.
Over the course of his career, Dean and the company have received many accolades including:
- Oslo Business for Peace Honoree (the "Nobel Prize for Business")
- Flourish Award for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: Poverty Reduction
- Macro Roast of the Year Finalist Three Times!
(We've got a full list of awards here; check it out!). Above all of that recognition, what he holds most dear are the relationships he's built with the two groups of people who keep our business going: our farmer partners, and you, our customers. As a worker-owned cooperative, we promise to earn your trust by nurturing these relationships and continuing to be on the leading edge of what an ethical, sustainable and environmentally responsible company should be. Oh, and you can bet the delicious, fresh roasted coffee isn't going anywhere!
Thoughts on becoming a Co-op from soon to be Worker-Owners!
Torin Kiely, Production Manager
"Converting to a worker-owned co-op is really the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Dean gets to retire and leave the company with people he knows will continue his legacy. For the employees, it allows us to continuing to do the job we love, and not have to try to navigate working for a new owner that might not align with our company values."
Carolyn Salls, Production Associate
"Dean could have done what a lot of business owners do: sold his company to some big corporation and then went on a book tour or done talks about what made him so successful. After working at Dean's Beans for 10 years, it makes me super happy that this is how Dean is choosing to exit. I look forward to passing on his lessons."
Tyler Sweeney, Administrative Assistant
"Being a worker co-op is next logical step for a company that has always been focused on people-centered development. Community has always been the key when it comes to Dean's success in changing the world of specialty coffee. I think I speak for the whole team when I say that we can't wait to carry on that beautiful legacy."
Beth Spong, Future CEO
"I've known and loved Dean's Beans for many years. Always organic, fair trade, and putting people and the planet before profit. Always investing in authentic partnerships with the farming co-ops around the world we buy from. It's a huge honor that Dean is entrusting this amazing mission-driven company to our dedicated group of employees - soon to be worker owners!"