Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hilary Abell is a co-founder of Project Equity, currently focused on demonstrating and expanding impact and fueling public policy to support broad-based employee ownership, driving racial and economic equity. Project Equity is a nonprofit that builds economic resiliency with low-income communities by demonstrating and replicating strategies that increase worker ownership. Since its launch in 2014, Project Equity has grown to work with small business clients around the country on employee ownership transitions and is raising awareness and building the ecosystem of support for this powerful business model nationwide.

Carolyn Berke is the Founder of Niles Pie Company, which has retail sales, classes, dinners and catering, and is a unique presence for local artisanal food in Union City and, as of July 2017, is the first cooperative on the 880 corridor. The owner, Carolyn Berke, sees the coop conversion as a way to to bring job stability and growth to the business, as well as a way to provide staff with profit sharing and ownership. It is also a way for her to eventually retire from the business, and she will continue to build it with her 8 employees for the coming years.

Check out 845 with Corey Rosen as mentioned in today's episode!

Today’s feature affiliate: Bentobox. In need of a restaurant website? Click this link to find out why so many of my guests use Bentobox!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "In a cooperative everyone can be a leader."
  • "Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie."

In this episode with Hilary Abel & Carolyn Berke we will discuss:

  • ESOPs and Co-ops
  • Brand-based employee ownership
  • Three models to explore:
    • ESOP - Employee Stock Ownership Plan
    • Cooperative - good for small to medium sized business
    • Employee Ownership Trust
  • What does the model do for culture?
  • The myths of co-op companies
  • Easier to scale in most cases

Today's sponsor:

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Real hospitality and restaurant industry veterans, the My Restaurant CFO team understands the daily frustrations restaurant owners experience managing their establishments. By partnering to create a custom solution, we streamline your flow of financial information, create a clear picture of your overall financial health, use your historical data to forecast your financial needs, and suggest ways to cut costs and increase revenue.

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Contact info:


Hilary's email:


Carolyn's email:

Thanks for listening!

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Huge thanks to Hilary Abel & Carolyn Berke for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!

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Direct download: HA_and_CB_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT