The Rapidian

Measure What Matters: EcoBuns Baby + Co.

Four years ago, Marissa Berghorst, her mother Vicki Hughes and her sister Meghan Osterbaan bought EcoBuns Baby + Co., located in Holland. This e-commerce store has transformed into a growing brick-and-mortar store, offering a large variety of environmentally friendly cloth diapers and baby products.
EcoBuns Baby + Co

EcoBuns Baby + Co /M+K Photography

Measure What Matters: EcoBuns Baby + Co.  

This blog post is part of Local First’s Measure What Matters series, where we interview Local First Members who have taken the Quick Impact Assessment, and learn about how the assessment has helped them use their business as a force for good and be Good for Grand Rapids.

Four years ago, Marissa Berghorst, her mother Vicki Hughes and her sister Meghan Osterbaan bought EcoBuns Baby + Co., located in Holland. What originally began as an e-commerce store in 2009 has now transformed into a growing brick-and-mortar store that offers West Michigan’s largest variety of environmentally friendly cloth diapers and baby products.

EcoBuns Baby + Co. first heard about Local First when a neighboring business recommended they get involved with the organization.

“Local First is aligned with our passion of supporting our community, and we thought joining forces with them would help us strengthen our community while making an even bigger positive difference on our customers, employees and the environment,” said Berghorst.

The first time EcoBuns Baby + Co. took Local First’s Quick Impact Assessment was when they were first nominated for the LocalMotion Awards in 2012. At the time, they scored 52 points, just two points above the “Ordinary” B Corp score, which is 50 points.

“It really was an eye-opening experience for us,” said Berghorst. “At the time we were only a year old, so taking the assessment challenged us to look at many different aspects of our business that we didn’t consider before. It gave us a lot of insight on where we could grow and improve, and I’m glad we took it early on so we could use it to shape our business practices moving forward.”

Earlier this year, EcoBuns Baby + Co. was recognized as a LocalMotion award winner. Berghorst says taking the Quick Impact Assessment during the infancy of her business helped EcoBuns Baby + Co. create a strong foundation for the business. After taking the assessment, Berghorst and her family used it to write business mission statements, employee handbooks and it even influenced their hiring process. The assessment was also key in helping EcoBuns Baby + Co. establish business measurement tools.

“The Quick Impact Assessment showed us how important it is to have things written down,” said Berghorst. “As small business owners, we have a lot to focus on and this assessment encouraged us to slow down and think about what kind of business we want be today and in the future.”

Berghorst says people are at the heart of EcoBuns Baby + Co. and this value is what drives their mission. Since many of their employees are mothers, there are many family-friendly policies in place, such as creating a space for mothers to pump at work or providing flexible work schedules. Berghorst says she doesn’t want her employees to worry about having to take off time to be with family, so EcoBuns Baby + Co. is committed to helping employees strike harmony between work and family.  

As a business that offers natural baby products, EcoBuns Baby + Co. is also committed to making a positive environmental impact. The Quick Impact Assessment encouraged them to think about putting environmental measurements in place. Berghorst said they’ve reduced their environmental footprint by recycling paper products and using electronic invoices and email receipts. Moving forward, EcoBuns Baby + Co. is looking to increase their community impact and find ways to measure this impact. 

“We have a responsibility to the environment, community and our employees. If we want to keep growing, we need to continue measuring our impact and the assessment helps us do that,” said Berghorst. “The Quick Impact Assessment gave our business more direction and helped us set goals that we didn’t realize should have been goals. Our employees, community and our business all benefit from the measuring our impact.”  

Berghorst encourages all businesses to take the Quick Impact Assessment, regardless of the size or stage of their business. She says it doesn’t take long to complete and the impact it can have on a business is phenomenal.

“I’m so thankful for the support of Local First and for their help to push these efforts forward. Local First is supporting businesses that are building communities, and we are fortunate to be a part of this movement,” said Berghorst.  

 

Interested in learning how your business performs against best practices on employee, community and environmental impact? Take the Quick Impact Assessment today to learn how much good your business is doing for the local economy and community at localfirst.com/sustainability/measure-what-matters

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