It all started with Mom

It all started with Mom

I’m not just making a general statement about my life or life in general when I say that it all started with mom. I’m talking about Nutty Steph’s. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we've been reflecting on all the mothers involved in the company and the massive additions of creativity, enthusiasm, and loving support that mothers have infused into Nutty Steph's over the years. It was in fact Jaquelyn’s own mother Libby who gave her the idea of starting the business.

Libby has always made it a priority to come to Vermont and help her daughter with big moves and life changes, taking a break from the business she co-owns with her husband Todd. In 2003 when Jaquelyn decided to quit teaching math, Libby came to help her transition and find a place to live in Montpelier. While driving around central Vermont, the duo stopped at a gas station and bought some granola. Libby remarked that Jaquelyn’s granola, which she’d been baking for 3 or 4 years already, was so much better and she should start her own granola business. Jaquelyn took her advice.

Since then, Libby has faithfully returned for every major milestone in the Nutty Steph’s world, offering a hand in the move from our warehouse in Montpelier to our current shop in Middlesex, the opening of the Bacon Thursday Bar, and the big Roaring 20’s 10th anniversary party.

And she’s not the only mother who's made a big impression on the place. Our chocolatier Priscilla often brings any combination of her four children to work and they love helping out, whether it be bagging granola, dipping cookies into chocolate or just running around in cowboy or Michael Jackson costumes, livening up the shop. Priscilla, who is a painter, seamstress, and mosaic artist, designed tile mosaics for a few of our tired old bar tables and inspired us to re-paint the shop to brighten it up. Her son Steele even put up an art show on the freshly painted walls.

Our warehouse and shop manager Sophie originally started coming to work uninvited with her sister Grace and wrapped chocolate bars for free until we agreed to hire her for her sheer enthusiasm. She has turned out to be a fun, dedicated employee. Besides sewing new potholders for the kitchen and colorful flags to decorate our otherwise very utilitarian warehouse, she always knows how to make the customers laugh. Sophie recently hired her mother Patty to do the huge job of bagging the fresh-baked granola every Wednesday.

Our photographer and mural-artist Natasha brings her daughter Iris when she comes to take pictures and Iris loves getting to taste all that the shop has to offer.

In honor of motherhood and family connections, we take pride in being a business that encourages our employees' families to spend time in the chocolate shop and production space during the work day. Nutty Steph's recognizes the strength and dedication of women who are raising children and we know that our company would not be as vibrant without the mothers and familial bonds we nurture here.

So for Mother's Day this year, of course you should give your mom some of the best chocolate and granola available; but you should also pay homage to mothers everywhere by creating employment situations conducive to motherhood. We recently enacted a maternity leave plan. If you're part of a company that doesn't have one, what better time than now to show that you honor the mothers in your workplace?

Jaquelyn Rieke