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behind the scenes at our new hive

Posted on February 07, 2019

Bee’s Wrap, the product, began with a question: Could we find a better way to store food, without the waste and without the plastic? Bee’s Wrap, the company, poses another: Can we find a better way to build a business?

Today, we’re hard at work on answers for both of those questions. The last few years have brought significant growth for Bee’s Wrap — an exciting prospect as we work hard to put our reusable food storage wraps in the hands of more people. With growth come challenges, and up until a few months ago, Bee’s Wrap was bursting at the seams. We’d outgrown our workshop in Bristol, Vermont, and needed to find a new home — one with more space for production, more room for warehousing, more desks for our growing hive.

Which is why we’re so delighted to have landed in our new home, just down the road in Middlebury, VT. Today our team of more than 30 people is all under one roof in a sunny, spacious, light-filled building, powered by approximately 75% renewable energy.

It’s a big change from the early days of Bee’s Wrap, when a small band of us — neighbors and farmers, mothers and friends — painted wax by hand onto fabric wraps in the basement of Sarah’s home. We’ve since developed custom machinery that allows us to wax whole rolls of fabric at a time.

As we settle into our new digs, we’re taking the chance to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. We come to work every day on a mission to help more people ditch disposable, single-use plastic in favor of a natural and sustainable alternative. We’re also passionate about the company we’re building — the close knit team that tackles challenges with creativity and goodwill.

Every Wednesday, we gather for a zero-waste lunch, and once a month we sit down to a community meal to celebrate milestones like birthdays and team successes. (And all of our food scraps go to a few coworkers’ chickens!) Our new space has a yoga room where employees can take a break to stretch and refresh, and a break room we stock with bulk snacks from our local food co-op. We’ve added lots of beautiful, air-purifying plants, and we’re not far from the great outdoors; we’re lucky to be in close proximity to a walking trail that winds along the Otter Creek.

We also look beyond the walls of this hive, thinking about the lives our employees lead in our community and the health of the place we call home. We value a flexible, family-friendly work environment, one that allows employees to fulfill familial obligations to a child or aging parent, and balance the demands of work and life. We’re proud to offer paid volunteer time and paid voting time to all Bee’s Wrap employees.

And at work, we value collaboration and creativity. We’ve started forming committees that pull employees outside of their day-to-day roles to work on bigger picture projects. We bring this approach to product development, as we think about new products and initiatives, and to problems that stretch beyond Bee's Wrap — like advocating for a plastic bag ban in our town and participating in statewide advocacy against single-use plastics.

This is not a time without challenges. At Bee’s Wrap, we do everything ourselves — from sourcing and warehousing ingredients to manufacturing to shipping to marketing and sales. We’re growing quickly. We’re balancing our sometimes utopian vision of what a company can and should be with the very real day-to-day challenges of our to-do lists.

We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve built so far. And we couldn’t be more excited about what’s yet to come.


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