"Let’s start something that has purpose," said young, energetic, and a bit naive Hannah and Brady fresh off a honeymoon in New Zealand. After needed time off in a place halfway around the word, we made a conscious decision not to go back to the grind. We believed there was a better way to spend our energy, one that would make a positive impact on world.
Today we are excited to share some BIG news...We are officially a B Corporation! For those not familiar with B Corps, we join a group of businesses like Patagonia and Peace Coffee that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose. Collectively, we are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
If you are out to change the world, why make muesli? Why not go into clean tech or reclaimed lumber (that was actually one of our ideas)? For starters, we fell in love with this new found breakfast in New Zealand – muesli. We loved how intentional it was compared to the breakfast options we were used to in the U.S. But liking a product alone is not a reason to start a company – or a movement as we often call it. We suspected something important from the start, and now know without a shadow of a doubt - the food and agriculture system in the U.S. is broken. A massive shift is needed, and we want to be part of the solution.
We have heard from our farmers and experienced the brokenness first hand as a food producer. Food products have become overly industrialized, processed and sweetened to the point where one cannot recognize that it once was alive, green and full of soil-regenerating nutrients. We knew that in order to make a true positive impact we needed to disrupt the system from the ground up. As a startup food company with zero food experience, some things just felt impossible to influence or change because of our scale (or lack thereof). We did what we could in the early days, e.g. joined 1% For the Planet, donated both monetarily and in kind to the community, and attended conferences to learn and network with like-minded companies.
As our business grew, we started finding more opportunities, or "cracks" in the industry mold, where we could find “new ways”. We aligned with the right partners who bought into our mission. We committed to work directly with our farmers, suppliers and retailers in an effort to achieve better transparency through to our consumers. This may seem obvious or easy but it is uncommon in an industry full of middle men, consolidators and distributors organized for efficiency, convenience and profit.
As business owners, but also as parents who feed our kids muesli everyday, we wanted to know and share everything about how our ingredients are grown and processed. By opening up this conversation with our partners, we were able to get ahead of the growing concerns like glyphosate contamination in oats, and also find sourcing opportunities like wild blueberries and regenerative buckwheat.
We’ve always felt that our way of building Seven Sundays was different. It is very personal, our “first born," so it naturally developed out of our values as people. But Seven Sundays will eventually be bigger than our current small team, and because of this, we decided that we must lock in the very values that took us down this unmarked path in the first place.
In 2019, we gathered our team, our company attorney and a good friend who has experience in HR (and was willing to work for muesli), and became a B Corporation. In many ways this was a realization of our mission – our current ways of doing things. However, it also required us to put into place a framework both legally and organizationally to embed this new "lens" into our business. And while we had to achieve a certain score based on our current performance, more importantly, we are required to continuously improve our score to remain in compliance. So not only did it help us organize all the things we are currently doing, we get to do even better tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
The fact remains that we are still a fragile food start up and there are still many barriers and unforeseen challenges in the way. Doing something with purpose is what keeps us going, and we are getting #bettereveryday. Our farmers deserve better, our consumers deserve better, Mother Nature deserves better. Now as a B Corp, we feel more empowered and confident than ever to go out and change the world.
-Hannah & Brady
Click here to dive deeper into our B Impact Score, or take a quick glance at the snapshot below.