Stella & Chewy’s, a best-in-class premium nutritional pet food, announces it has been selected as one of the 2020 Top Workplaces by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The annual program is conducted by anonymous employee feedback, and recognizes large, midsize and small companies that emphasizes leadership, compensation, work environment, communications and other factors for their employees.
“This recognition truly means the world to us because it is based on feedback from our employees,” said Marc Hill, CEO, Stella & Chewy’s. “The main priorities and goals of our business are to create the best possible products for our pet parents, and of course, to create the most positive working environment for our employees. We have an open door policy to encourage communication, feedback and discussions about any matter of importance to an employee.”
Stella & Chewy’s is headquartered in Oak Creek, Wis., and employs over 600 individuals in both exempt and non-exempt positions.
What makes Stella & Chewy’s a Top Workplace?
The company is frequently recognized for office staff being able to bring their dogs to work, but there are other offerings that make Stella & Chewy’s an inviting place to work. “Over the past four years, we have increased compensation in our production division dramatically in order to attract and keep employees,” said Jennifer Kovacich, Human Resources Manager, Stella & Chewy’s. “In addition to a competitive employee package with employer-matching 401K, health and life insurance, we also offer ESL (English as a Second Language), Excel and Frontline Leadership classes. We are proud to say that over 65% of our jobs are filled in-house and that’s because of the training we offer to our team members and the open access we have to all levels of management. We believe that if we invest in our employees and give them opportunities to grow within the company, it will be a win-win for everyone,” said Kovacich.
In 2018 the company introduced Journey Home Fund where they raise awareness about the joys of adopting adult and senior pets, and donate meals to shelters and rescues across the country. In 2019 Stella & Chewy’s donated $80,000 for 371 dogs and cats to be adopted. The company also donated $25,000 to Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control which paid for the spaying and neutering of over 400 animals in 12 zip codes. In 2020 Stella & Chewy’s partnered with ASPCA and donated over $500,000 in food which fed dogs and cats in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Asheville, N.C.
Company adjustments due to COVID:
The company was quick to implement features to keep employees safe including social distancing, PPE gear, offering 80 hours sick time regardless of length of employment, flexible shifts, staggered lunches and conference rooms being used as locker rooms. “We are considered an essential business, so the concern and care of our staff is our top priority,” said Hill. “We also bring in free lunch once a week and have weekly drawings for Uber Eats gift cards. The wellness of our employees will always be our number one concern.”
What’s next for Stella & Chewy’s?
The company recently launched three new pet products including Marie’s Magical Dust for cats and Marie’s Mix-Ins, as well as adding pumpkin and bacon to some of their most popular items such as Wild Weenies and Dog Magical Dust. “Our growth is continuous and we are planning to introduce more products in the third quarter of this year,” said Hill.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.