Joys of Sweet 16
August 11, 2016 11:31 am
A blog from Jacquie Berglund
It is hard to believe that I have been at this beer company for 16 years as I have never lasted at any job more than 5 years. FINNEGANS started as an idea of how a beer company could make the world a better place. I never really had a big plan – I just wanted to make/sell a quality product and help people with the profits from the product.
When I was a little girl my family didn’t have a lot of money and as a result I have always had compassion for those struggling by. I am a big believer that we live in the wealthiest country in the world and it should not be acceptable that so many folks in our country are not able to meet their basic needs. So, I am a big advocate for helping to create healthy communities where community members are able to meet their basic needs and thrive.
Celebrating our 16th Birthday and our milestone of hitting one million in total donations since starting the company truly gives me a moment for pause. I did not realize when I started this 16 year adventure that we would be creating a community of like minded people that felt the same way I did.
We knew reaching this Million Dollar milestone wouldn’t be easy but with the help of our team and supporters we were able to achieve this, ahead of schedule! Staying true to our innovative ways we set out we blazed a trail to help us achieve this. One creative idea was to open a “birthday registry” so people could “gift” us presents for our birthday. The items on the registry are items that are wanted by farms and food shelves but never make the budget cut. Another way was just to ask. We asked companies, caterers, bars and restaurants to carry and provide our product this summer to help us achieve this milestone and sure enough they said “yes”. These brand supporters wanted to help those in need in a sustainable way. Once we received word that we hit our goal, that didn’t stop our team. It only motivated us to do more by continuing to keep our birthday registry open through the rest of the year.
The FINNEGANS brand has a million finger prints on it – so many individuals, organizations and businesses have stepped up to volunteer at events, share their talents with us – – this has been one of the most inspiring parts of my journey….I really did not see this coming. FINNEGANS is here today because people care. This gives me great hope. FINNEGANS is the 9th largest MN beer brand with no brewery and no tap room…we just have a bunch of supporters that help us continue to grow our brand and our mission.
The other inspiring aspect of my 16 year journey is our social impact. Over the years FINNEGANS has funded many innovative poverty related programs for the homeless and at risk youth. In 2011, we did our first pilot project with The Food Group’s Harvest for the Hungry program in which we purchased fresh produce from local growers and that produce was delivered to local food shelves. Wow! We jumped on this bandwagon and never looked back as there was an extra win in here – we were paying market rates to the farmers so they won too! We now have a food bank partner in every state where we sell our product (MN, ND, SD, WI and IA) and we focus on getting local healthy produce to local food shelves. Not only are we addressing getting food to those in need – we are getting healthy food to those in need and supporting local growers. I have a dream job!
I am so truly thankful for my fantastic staff. The FINNEGANS core team of 4 is as powerful as an army of people. They are passionate and committed and never give up. This passion carries through to our volunteers and supporters – folks step up and go above and beyond to help us carry out our mission of ‘Turning beer into food’. I am also very grateful for our beer distributors, retailers and advisors…the list goes on and on…yes, a million fingerprints on this brand indeed.
The FINNEGANS team is looking forward to our next chapter – we are opening a FINENGANS Brewtel complex in downtown Minneapolis in December 2017. We will have our own brewery and there will be an adjacent hotel and we are also starting a social business incubator to help support and launch other social businesses. This is going to be a game changer for our brand and our mission. Please stay along with us as we transition to this next chapter. We still need you!! We need all of our supporters in this increasingly competitive beer market.
Be a change maker. Make a difference!!
Here are ways you can support FINNEGANS:
Or you can join us for a birthday toast at MN Irish Fair this Friday, Aug 12th at the FINNEGANS tent at 7pm. There will be cake, pies and birthday revelry for all. RSVP if you can or just show up- we’ll have a birthday hat waiting for you.