Work it Like You Own It!

By: John Hotson,
Business Transition Alliance Co-Founder

This summer my wife and I took a road trip trough Ottawa, Quebec, and on to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. Just east of Ottawa we stopped in the small community of Vankleek Hill to visit Beau’s Brewery – brewers of the popular Lug Tread all natural Lagered Ale.

I had been introduced to Lug Tread a year ago by my son. I liked it, not just for the taste, but there was something about its unique four-bottle packaging, stamped bottles and overall branding that resonated with me. I was intrigued to learn more about this company and Vankleek Hill was on our way, so we stopped in.

You can feel the positive energy when you walk through the door. The bottling line and operations of the company are in plain view and you get a strong sense of how the business runs within 60 seconds of being in the Beau’s building. There’s a buzz of activity that welcomes you – not fancy but very real, very engaging.

Molly, at the front counter greeted us warmly and even though she was obviously busy,it was immediately clear that she would tell us whatever we wanted to know about the company. Molly is a young mother who, as she showed us around, explained that she was about to take her second maternity leave. She also told us that she was not just an employee but also a shareholder in the business.

The company owners, the Beauchesne family, are selling the company to its 150 employees. The Beauchesnes have no immediate plans to exit the business entirely, but the plan allows employees to own the business they helped create, and raise money for the brewery’s expansion plans. As shareholders, employees are taken through the company’s financials at quarterly meetings and invited to an annual company meeting that this year includes a camping trip.

Suddenly it all made sense to me.

That “unique something” I was attracted to a year ago when I was introduced to their product is driven by a culture and an attitude that originates with Molly and each and every member of their staff. Beau’s has taken employee engagement to a whole new level.

Unfortunately being neither family nor an employee, I do not own shares in this company. But I have done the next best thing. I am now the owner of a Beau’s T-shirt. As a Beau’s ambassador I can proudly support them by wearing their brand that simply states, “Family Run, Employee Owned”.

I want this company to win, not just for the sake of the business, but also for Molly.

About John Hotson:

John is a seasoned marketing and communications professional and running addict. He has worked as both a business owner and advisor to owners who are committed to improving the value of their business. John is a principal of Clearwater Corporate Communications and a co-founder of The Business Transition Alliance.

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