Entrepreneurs Do Well By Doing GoodRieva Lesonsky
Sarah Endline, sweetriot
Maker of socially responsible, all-natural, healthy chocolate treats and snacks
Sarah Endline grew up in a small farming town dreaming of building her own mission-based business. In 2005 the former Yahoo executive founded sweetriot. Based in New York City, sweetriot’s socially responsible, diet- and food-allergy-friendly candy is carried in thousands of stores nationwide. Its mission is “to create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for the next generation.
Smart Hustle: sweetriot was never just about making money and donating money to worthy causes.
Sarah Endline: It’s not about writing checks. Social responsibility is so much deeper than that. We have a social mission because we want more than just profit to guide us. We rioters do believe we can change the world! We strive to weave social responsibility throughout our company, and no, we’re not perfect, but we try our best.
Smart Hustle: What’s your secret ingredient?
Endline: We searched for a product, cacao, which comes from the most healthy and magical fruit in the world. It is a slow, not fast, food, and we’re proud of that. We consider what products we are creating. Are they good for the world … are they healthy … are they natural and fairly traded? Is the sourcing ethical? We worked very hard to find a partner in South America with a strong track record of social responsibility and a commitment to fair trade.
Smart Hustle: What is the culture like at sweetriot?
Endline: I am committed to building a workplace that is empowered, team-oriented, positive and service-oriented. On the inside of our company, we need to be responsible in order to serve our partners and rioters effectively. I work hard to create fair HR practices such as a healthcare stipend even though we are a tiny company. I also work with my team on work-life balance issues and making sweetriot a wonderful place to work. Once again, we are not perfect, but we try our best.
Smart Hustle: You list a lot of partnerships on your website.
Endline: We love to support nonprofits that have similar values and ideals. We especially focus on organizations that celebrate culture, diversity and young people. Our partnerships take many forms but usually involve giving the organization cacao for their special events and also sending speakers and/or people to help them at events.