Local company sets new standard in business

The Old English word “cynnes”, meaning family, being generous, considerate, compassionate, and deliberately doing good to others is a part of almost every religion, school, and community. But how does this soft skill, more commonly known as “kindness” translate to the workplace and increase revenue? 

 One local company takes kindness to another level. This family-owned company started in Carlsbad 13 years ago with one passionate personal chef, a blender, and a tight-knit family-run farmers market booth, before it became the sauce empire the world knows today. 

Meet Bitchin’ Sauce, now with 75 employees and 4 other Edwards family-owned Brands—Bitchin’ Kids, Bitchin’ Beach Club, Bitchin’ Bean, and Bitchin’ Music Group. Bitchin’ Sauce is currently one of the kindest companies in Carlsbad, (and quite possibly the world), taking home the trophy for the first Annual 2023 Kindness Company CBAD Award.

Bitchin’ has set a new global business standard. From generous employee benefits to community partnerships, kindness isn’t just a value at Bitchin’, it’s thoughtfully designed into operational processes—It’s baked into their DNA! Bitchin’ Sauce is a role model for brands today to inject kindness into  “the how” they succeed tomorrow. 

 Bitchin’ Sauce is big in putting things into action. CEO and Founder, Starr Edwards gave a talk at one of our Carlsbad Chamber First Friday Breakfasts where she spoke about the need for “stewardship”—taking care of something, such as an organization, property, or land. She talked about her passion for stewardship being a mentality and value at the company, where Bitchin’ Sauce frequently gives product away and is quite generous with their time and money. Starr beautifully shared, “Stewardship is caring for something given to you, and success is growing it; It’s the resource you have to give.” 

Another kind food founder, Daniel Lubetzky, founder of KIND Snacks and the Kind Movement once said, “Kindness means more than just being nice. If somebody is nice, they’re not going to bully. But if they’re kind, they’re going to stand up to the bully. Kindness requires the strength of action”. 

Small acts of kindness can be found in Bitchin’s benefits. Employee benefits include a 4% 401K match, 75% healthcare coverage, PTO, monthly appreciation events, free sauce, free Bitchin’ Bean coffee, and free onsite childcare, Bitchin’ Kids. 

“We started an on-site Bitchin’ daycare because I did not want our team to have to choose between providing for their families via income or their presence,” shared Starr. Gone are the days when parents have to choose between career or family. If your company doesn’t currently offer childcare benefits, there are great services like KidsCare Finder that can help you upgrade your kindness package. I had the pleasure of touring the Bitchin’ office. I met Brizeida, Childcare Manager who shared her passion for teaching Bitchin’ Kids sustainability with the help of Kids for Peace. Margi Malek, Kindness Certified Company Director, Kids for Peace mentioned, “Bitchin’ Sauce embodies our four Kindness Certified Company values: Be good to your people, give back to your community, make eco-friendly decisions, and have compassion for people of the world!”

Kindness shows a sense of belonging. A partnership with Beacons Inc. led to a beautiful employee success story. From production line to childcare, Tess quickly found her love for working with kids. I met Tess and I could see the sheer joy in her eyes as she shared, “My favorite part of the day is the way the kids say my name.” 

Bitchin’ Sauce serendipitously met tablemate and office neighbor, Beacons, Inc. at last year’s CBAD Awards and the partnership took off from there. They have also done great work with the Job Readiness Room, Workforce Development, and organizations like Solutions for Change. “Knowing how to stay plugged into the larger community and developing opportunities for our employees to volunteer with these organizations let the Bitchin’ footprint extend beyond just any one of us,” highlights, Chamber Board Member and Bitchin’ Chief of Staff, Amanda Miles. “I’ve seen firsthand how a company can profit from policies of kindness. Our revenue, employee engagement, and retention have steady growth in the past decade thanks to a team deeply rooted in stewardship and generosity.”

This Kind Company wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Bitchin’s volunteer time off. Every Friday, up to 4 hours can be spent on another mission that matters. Abbey Glauch, VTO Programs Manager shared, “We have so many programs we want to share with the community. And when you’re kind, you meet the best people! Paying it forward is a huge culture driver in everything we do here.”

 “Bitchin’ Sauce is a shining example of establishing a compassionate culture that extends across every aspect of their operations! They support over 70 local and national charities, advocating kindness-in-action in the business realm,” said Asia More, Chief Operating Officer, Kids for Peace.

The newest Bitchin’ Bean coffee cart is opened daily outside the office on Yarrow Street and is now brewing for the public. For a small fee, you can now taste their kona blend, cultivated on the Bitchin’ Bean coffee farm in Hawaii and roasted by local roastery James Coffee Co. Be sure to check their Instagram for more information, 2 additional coffee carts coming soon to North County, plus when you can buy their take home beans. 

When most companies are thinking linear, Bitchin’ is thinking circular. Businesses can learn a thing or two from Bitchin’s creative use of kindness to channel innovation, profit, and deeper value in the workplace. Take it from the founders, Starr and Luke Edwards, these serial entrepreneurs are living their dream and inspiring all Bitchin’ employees how to chase their passions and make a living too.

In the production line at Bitchin’, the VP of Supply Chain, Anna Pfefferle sent out a survey to the team. “What is your dream job?” (0% said their current job.) “What are you doing now to prepare for that?” “How does Bitchin’ inspire you and give you tools to do that!?”  The survey results were an innovative opportunity to connect with their deepest values. Anna and team helped create a plan for acquiring those skills on the job. Bitchin’ is truly a role model for unique leadership.

Oliver Scott Curry, Chief Science Officer at kindness.org says, “Promoting kindness at work can help companies improve bottom line results while also creating happier, more fulfilling work environments”.

Every day, people like you are inspiring kindness-led change in their business. 

Join a new Bitchin’ business standard and get certified at www.kindnesscertified.org