How Vermont Evaporator is kind, responsible and thankful in business
Hi. We’re Nikki and Kate. We manufacture and sell backyard maple syrup making equipment for regular people. We help families get into their woods and make something delicious together. We feel good about this, and like to think that our mission is about as benevolent as it gets for a profit-making enterprise.
But how you do business is as important – or more – than what business you are in. We don’t just make and sell stuff. We make and sell stuff the right way: kindly, responsibly, and thankfully. And that’s all the difference anyone can make.
So, whether you are relaxing after a giant Thanksgiving dinner, standing in a black-Friday line, or catching up on things while travelling back home, take a moment to read a little good news about how this one company is spreading sweetness in more ways than one.
We take care of our people. We’re a small company. But when we think “we,” we think big: employees, customers and sugarmakers of the past and future all count. We pay a living wage, we offer paid vacation, and we even make our employees a pie of their choice around the holidays! We sell products of the highest quality and accompany them with superlative customer service. We gladly give unlimited backyard sugaring advice to our customers, and, yes, we are actually always as happy as we sound to talk to you! We also say thanks to our indigenous ancestors for the gift of maple syrup by setting aside a portion of each November’s sales to support Native American land use rights.
We take care of our community. We love this place, but, as in many rural communities in the United States these days, it isn’t easy to make a living here. So we support our local community by sourcing goods and services close to home when we can, and support local organizations—like Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Main Street Alliance Vermont, and Montpelier Alive—that advocate for responsible businesses and help keep our downtowns vibrant. We make second-chance hires, and hope to do our part to help our community heal from the fallout of the opioid epidemic by making more hires through a partnership with a Vermont-based staffing agency for people in recovery. We support our local youth and arts communities. And, for heaven’s sake, we abide by the rule of law and pay our taxes on time!
We take care of our planet. Our nonprofit giving includes longtime support of the Vermont River Conservancy, a local nonprofit that has been conserving and preserving public access to Vermont’s waterways for nearly 25 years. We also write and speak about how climate change may complicate our ability to make maple syrup, and how ordinary folks can care for their woods to help them be resilient as temperatures rise. We avoid solvents and other toxins in our manufacturing processes, we dispose of our waste properly, and we use packaging materials that are almost exclusively recyclable and compostable. (This year, even the big red bows that will accompany all December purchases are made of paper!) We are in the process of converting the ancient factory lighting that we inherited to energy efficient fixtures, and will budget to convert from diesel to electrical air compression over the coming years.
So if you needed some good news, or if you are also kind, responsible and thankful in whatever you do and would appreciate some company, we’re with you! And we’re here to stay.
All the best, and a safe and happy holiday to you and yours,
-Nikki & Kate