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Making work, work - Why Dutch Bros attracts the best

Sierra dances while she decorates the front desk “You're hired for who you are without any masks. I’ll never be able to work anywhere else!” – Sierra Malloy, first impressions guru at Dutch Bros Coffee.

 

For the third year in a row, Dutch Bros Coffee was listed in The Oregonian as a top workplace in the state. Its popularity can be traced to strong culture, caring leadership and a mission to love everyone.

 

Headquartered in a small southern Oregon town, Dutch Bros is well-known for its company culture and sees a surprisingly high number of applicants for open positions. A recent posting for a part-time, entry-level job in its travel department saw more than 200 applicants. New hires say the factors that drew them to their positions are the same ones that make them stay.

 

Sierra Malloy works at the front desk as a First Impressions Guru, or as she likes to call herself, an emotional support human. A year ago, Sierra, her husband Trevor and their newborn daughter, Lilith, packed up their        Portland apartment and moved to southern Oregon, where Trevor had been hired in the IT department at Dutch Bros.

 

Trevor, Sierra and Lilith enjoy a Dutch Bros Family Day

Shortly after, Sierra found herself questioning her decision to stay home full-time. She missed the connection and challenge working gave her and she saw how happy Trevor was when he came home from work. He loved his co-workers and the work/life balance Dutch Bros provided. Sierra was able to experience company firsthand through family day, a quarterly gathering where employees and their families are treated to food trucks, games and activities ranging from concerts to rafting trips. Eventually, she decided to take the leap and apply for an opening at Dutch Bros. 

 

Once she landed a job, the transition wasn’t easy. However, Sierra says Dutch Bros leaders did what they could to help her. She was able to bring Lilith to work with her while she coordinated a childcare schedule. Even with daycare established, Lilith still visits during lunch each day, so Sierra can spend time with her and she, Trevor and the baby can eat lunch catered by Dutch Bros as a family. 

 

“A year later and I can safely say it was the best thing I could have done,” said Sierra. “My job is to make people feel special when they walk in the front door. I feel like I’m living my best life every day.” 

 

Kelsey Hopper started with Dutch Bros in summer 2017. She and her husband were both working at Stanford University, but they had begun to wonder what life could be like outside of the Bay Area. They craved more mountains and less traffic and wanted to be closer to family.

 

“I was drawn to Grants Pass, and what Dutch Bros stands for – community and love,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey and Kevin Hopper

As the Employee Engagement and Internal Relations Manager, Kelsey has a unique insight into what makes Dutch Bros employees tick, and what they value about the company as a whole. One of her first projects was to interview current employees and learn what they love about their jobs, and what they’d like to see change. 

 

“Dutch Bros is constantly looking for new ways to take care of its employees. I love working at a place that charges me with finding creative and cutting-edge benefits for my co-workers.” said Kelsey.

 

Kelsey's team started by creating opportunities for HQers to connect, de-stress and learn together at least once a month. She calls the “cultural connection points” crucial to the grassroots vibe, where employees can show up to work looking and feeling like themselves. There is no dress code and personal expression is encouraged and expected. 

 

CEO Travis Boersma gives a talk on the third Thursday of each month, cheers to each other are done with dub shots of coffee on Fridays and President Joth Ricci hosts a quarterly town hall meeting where he answers questions and casts a vision for the company. 

 

Both Kelsey and Sierra believe it’s that access to culture-building activities and people that make Dutch Bros a top workplace. 

Kelsey rafting during a DB Family Day

 

“I love that our culture is not something that lives in the background- we are encouraged to live the culture of love in everything we do as employees,” said Kelsey. “I love being surrounded by people who love their work, appreciate each other and truly want to make a difference in the world by serving our communities.”

 

Sierra agrees and believes it’s the people that truly make Dutch Bros special.

 

“It’s even better than it seems. We really are committed to each other, there is a very real sense of family,” said Sierra. “Most people move here from far away and don’t have a support network at first, but you find out very quickly that Dutch is all of that and more.”