WMM Interview WMM Spotlight

Double May Spotlight! Hailey Barsch & Stone Creek Coffee

Happy May, moms! This month we're excited to introduce you to our first DOUBLE spotlight! We're featuring local mom, Hailey Barsch, who is the director of education at Stone Creek Coffee, as well as Stone Creek Coffee as a local company! Hear firsthand from Stone Creek's co-owner and director of development, Drew Pond, as to why Stone Creek Coffee firmly believes in supporting working moms and what it means to be an inclusive employer.

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... First up, we'll hear from Hailey!

Hailey, how long have you worked at Stone Creek Coffee and what is your position with the company?
I am the director of education at Stone Creek Coffee and about to complete 11 years as of June 30th!

How many children do you have?

2 children, Etta (3.5 years) and Charlie (15mos)

Why is Stone Creek Coffee a good employer, especially for moms, in your opinion?

SCC has supported my endeavor to grow my family from day one. My coworkers, including my previous team leader, regularly spoke up about their experiences as mothers working for Stone Creek Coffee in order to help me navigate how my journey may look. I received support not only in building my maternity leave plan, but also through thoughtful and caring advice for my many options when I return to work. They were willing to flex to my scheduling needs that could change, and I knew that they were ready and comfortable with whatever my decision could be upon return from maternity leave. Though I was ready to hit the ground running after my first child, when I struggled much more with my second child, I was very comfortable telling my leader that I was going to need to adjust my schedule and priorities when I returned from my second leave. SCC also has a paid lactation break policy that includes support in helping new mothers build plans for their return from leave for as long as a breastfeeding mother wishes to nurse for. This policy includes an antidescrimination policy and encourages mothers to take the time they need.

Tell us about the growth opportunities you've had at Stone Creek coffee.

I began as a barista in 2011. I became a cafe manager in 2012 and eventually a manager mentor, helping other cafe managers. In 2017 I was offered the position of Director of Education (my current role) and in 2020 I became the leader of our HR team and now support our Food Safety Team and food safety projects. SCC has paid for my training to become a Servsafe Manager Instructor and test proctor. They have also paid for my training to become a certified Preventive Controls Qualified Individual. I have undergone a lot of learning to be able to teach leadership courses and support our Coffee Group, by owning the beverage quality in our retail locations. My passion for learning is ever changing. I crave change and variation in my life and career, and though I have worked for one company for over ten years, I have had my desire for variety and challenge fulfilled in this company. 

What makes Stone Creek unique?

There is so much. We are a diverse group of perspectives and passionate individuals, but we are united around a desire to never stop learning and a passion for coffee. In everything we do, there is a purpose and humility. We have our struggles, of course, but our ability to listen and adjust is unmatched. We crave the feedback of our team members and our owners endeavor to build a company for our team members, not merely to find team members who will serve the company. 

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.... and now we'll hear from Drew Pond, Stone Creek Coffee co-owner and director of development!

Drew, can you tell us how did Stone Creek started as a company? 

Eric Resch founded Stone Creek Coffee in 1993. Eric started in the coffee industry in the early days of Starbucks' national expansion. Prior to starting Stone Creek, Eric actually worked at one of the first Starbucks locations in Chicago. Being a Wisconsin native, Eric returned to the Good Land, purchased a roaster, and started this journey. He carried with him the idea that businesses should be run with the understanding that we all have an obligation to those around us. We've tried to run the business with that sense of social obligation ever since.

Have you always been in Wisconsin? Do you sell outside of the state or have shops in other states? 

Milwaukee has always been our home. We have 8 cafes in the greater Milwaukee area. Eric and his wife Melissa remain the primary owners of Stone Creek Coffee. Eric still works daily in this business to ensure his original vision is lived out on a daily basis. We sell to customers across the country through our website - stonecreekcoffee.com. We always offer free shipping through UPS ground to make it just a bit easier for coffee geeks to get fresh-roasted Farm to Cup coffee.

Why is it important for Stone Creek to support working moms? 

As a company, we believe supporting the goals of our employees is part of our purpose. Of course, we have goals and a mission statement, but a company doesn't exist without its people. We believe a healthy company is made up of healthy individuals. So supporting working moms as they play so many roles beyond their professional job title, is am absolute necessity. A failure to be sensitive to and supportive of these individuals (or anybody else in our company) would be disingenuous given our value system. 

What makes Stone Creek unique? 

We are a diverse group of people who bring our authentic selves to the workplace. We gather around coffee, and we commit to celebrate our differences together. This is not an easy commitment to keep. However, our employees are truly remarkable. They choose to view disagreements as opportunities for learning and empathy instead of allowing them to cause division. The employees who share this commitment are the soul of Stone Creek Coffee, and they are the ultimate reason why our customers remark positively on our spaces, teams, and products time and again.

What makes Stone Creek a great place to work, especially for moms? 

Many work-places say "Family First," but at SCC it's truly what we believe and what we prioritize. WE endeavor to bring as much flexibility to our employees as possible. Each person at SCC has a different set of values and priorities. We simply try to create policies and benefits that empower each unique person to be able to invest in and prioritize what is important to them. 

Tell us more about "Brewing Change". What is this all about? 

We believe a cup of coffee has the power to heal. Stone Creek Coffee’s Brewing Change initiative is managed 100% by Stone Creek Coffee employees and provides a platform for our employees to fulfill their social, environmental, and cultural change initiatives. Stone Creek supports each project by providing a project coach along with company resources such as matching funds, free use of company spaces, and marketing support.

What's new and upcoming at Stone Creek? 

We're always bringing fresh new coffees from farms across the globe to the mugs of our customers. As we progress through the spring of 2022 we're working to improve our spaces. We've already done some small projects in our cafes, but we're about to do a full remodel of our cafe on Oakland in Shorewood. We will follow that up with a full remodel of our Oconomowoc cafe on Silver Spring. Even as we take on these projects we'll be launching new ways, both digital and analog, for our customers to engage with us and our mission.


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