Sometimes small businesses struggle to maintain a small, family-like atmosphere as they grow bigger. That doesn't seem to be the problem at Admints & Zagabor, Counselor's first stop on The Best Places to Work Road Trip 2013. As the Road Tour team pulled up to the company's Bellmawr, NJ, headquarters on Monday afternoon, the Admints gang of about 70 was taking advantage of the 70-degree weather by playing lawn games and eating pizza and hot dogs outside of the company's headquarters.
Company co-owners Brett Hersh and Steve Weissman got in on the fun, Brett playing a beanbag toss game and Weissman trying to untangle himself in a group ‘human knot.' "I've been here so long that I think of Brett and Steve as my brothers," said Crisy Carosella, an art director at the company, which Hersh and Weissman founded 13 years ago with one product – a logoed cardboard box of mints. The company has since expanded its product offering to include mostly U.S.-made candy, lip balm, hand sanitizer, gourmet food gifts and lanyards, and has seen double digit annual growth for several years.
Carosella isn't the only employee who feels that way. Robert Lafferty, the Admints manufacturing manager who proudly wears an Eagles cap under his blue hairnet on the factory floor, says the company's founders took a chance on him five years ago when he was 55 years old, and had been unemployed for over a year. "No one would interview me." But then he got a call from Hersh and Weissman, who hired him after three interviews. He's since brought in two other former co-workers, and plans to stay at Admints until he retires. "I told them they wouldn't be sorry, and I'll work as hard as I can for as long as Brett and Steve own the company," Lafferty says.
Hersh says that kind of loyalty doesn't go unnoticed at Admints. "Whether someone needs some flexibility because of an illness or family stuff, or even if they need some financial help, we respond however we need to," he says.
Today's outdoor party isn't unusual. Every month, the company holds "Pizza Fridays," where managers give out ‘employee-of-the-month' awards and celebrate employees' birthdays. "Our employees work hard and they care, and they're rewarded for that," Hersh says.