This quarter’s Minnesota B Corps spotlight is on Seven Sundays. The Minneapolis-based B Corporation is creating a better breakfast from the ground up through a variety of sunflower cereals and muesli. One that works in harmony with nature and improves the health of the soil, our farmers, our consumers, and the planet. Hannah Barnstable, Co-Founder and CEO, explains how.
Why did you Become a B Corporation?
We became a B Corporation in 2019 right as our business was expanding outside of our initially concentrated Minnesota “home turf”. We decided that we needed a quick way to tell the world who we were, and what we stood for, as we would not be able to solely rely on our more in-depth founder story and mission as we grew. Along with distribution growth, we were growing internally, and it was also important that the things we stood for as founders be carried on into the future.
How is your company using business as a force for good?
We think of this topic holistically, and it truly touches all aspects of what we do. There are three areas where we shine: 1) Fair and transparent relationships with employees, suppliers, farmers and our customers; 2) Local, regenerative and sustainable sourcing of both ingredients and packaging; and 3) Giving back to the community through donations of product, money and time.
Who are some of your role models in the business community? Who or what company can we all learn from?
There are many companies we look up to big and small! The first that comes to mind is Patagonia. They are unapologetically committed to their mission of reducing climate change. They act in bold ways and are leading real change. We are also huge fans of Peace Coffee and have been since the first time we met them over 10 years ago. It feels like Peace Coffee is led by a real, beating heart. Despite all their successes, they have never lost their charming scrappiness and underlying mission-driven purpose.
What are your B Corp goals for this coming year and what B Corp accomplishments are you most proud of from the past year?
We are going to continue to lean into what we call “shortening the supply chain” (buying local and direct), regenerative agriculture and upcycled ingredients. We recently launched a new grain free Sunflower Cereal that is made with upcycled, Minnesota grown sunflower protein. It is the first cereal made with an upcycled ingredient, and it only contains real food – no natural or artificial flavors. It is packaged up in a post-consumer recycled film package. Our new cereal can be found in Whole Foods nationwide, select Target stores, Lunds & Byerly’s, Kowalski’s and online. It was a big 2020 project, and we are quite proud of this cereal.
Are you doing anything special during the holidays for staff or customers?
We are a small team of eight over here, so our get togethers are nice and intimate. This year, Andy (who wears many hats in our company and is also my brother) will be hosting a holiday dinner at his house for us all. We also have a fun give-back promotion for the month of December. Stay tuned!