That company was Stonyfield Farm, and the caring attitude that prompted its establishment in 1983 has continued to characterize the Londonderry, N.H.-based maker of premium yogurt. "Our whole founding mission is that business should be a source of solutions to problems," says President and CEO Gary Hirshberg. "Our corporate culture tries to make people feel good inside."
So Stonyfield Farm uses its packaging to promote causes that the company believes in and thinks its customers support--like its "Put a Lid on Global Warming" campaign. The company's "Making a Difference" program pays employees for up to 16 hours of their time each year. And winners of its Yogurtarian Award get cash incentives for going the extra mile in the community.
Meetings reflect the company's sharing family atmosphere. Semi-annual business update meetings, for example, give all employees the lowdown on the privately held company's finances. "I talk candidly about what's going on and employees are encouraged to ask lots of questions," says Hirshberg.