Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrate Palouse Brand's own female CEO and Founder Sara Mader. A strong advocate for women in the workplace, Sara has focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace for women in farming. Palouse Brand is now a mostly female-led company.
How it all began...
Back in 2009 Sara Mader, having joined the Mader family the year prior, saw an opportunity to bring the family’s farm directly into the kitchens of Americans through a small bag line. She launched Palouse Brand out of their house in Pullman, shipping orders to customers out of a closet in her home. Since then, the company has grown tremendously with two warehouses shipping orders both directly to customers as well as to Amazon warehouses. While there has been growth, Palouse Brand continues to focus on the needs and expectations of our customers, adapting our farming practices over the years in order to fulfill those expectations.
It is extremely important to Sara and the Mader family as a whole that our customers are heard and we continue to supply a true farm to table experience. This true farm to table experience also stems from Palouse Brand being a vertically integrated company. Our products do not leave our care until they are shipped to our customers.
Women first work-place
As a working mother herself, Sara also wanted to bring jobs to their community especially to women and mothers who were in need of flexible schedules in order to have a healthy work-life balance. This platform has transpired into a predominantly female led company, with women running both the behind the scenes work as well as the packaging line.
“I wanted to design a workplace built for women, run by women that understand the need to get a call from the school and walk off the job with no attendance repercussions or stay home with a child that’s ill and know that their job is secure.”
Sara, along with her advocating for more women in the workplace, is also raising the next generation of female farmers and CEOs. Her daughters get to work alongside their mom and are learning the in's and out's of what it means to be a farmer and CEO.
Meet some of the Palouse Brand team:
Alyssa has been a part of the Palouse Brand team since 2018. She and her husband have raised their three children on their family homestead. Thanks to the flexibility in her job she is able to spend quality time raising her family, while also being able to live a life of homesteading: raising chickens, goats, gardening, and horseback riding.
Her favorite work memory was during the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, when we were able to provide work for upwards of 75 people who suddenly found themselves unemployed, knowing that we were going to be able to satisfy the employment needs of our community and put food on tables across the U.S. Alyssa started her career in the packaging department and as our business has grown, she has been promoted to Production Manager; she enjoys managing the high level of detail and moving production pieces that produce high quality foods for families like hers.
Mariela has been working to package your wheat berries and legumes since the Spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 Pandemic was in its first full swing and Palouse Brand was experiencing a large surge of orders. After being hired, her favorite moment was in late March of 2020 when she fulfilled 1,134 twenty-five pound bag orders by herself in one shift.
She loves the flexibility that her job provides on weekends and holidays so that she is able to travel and visit family more easily. Mariela will tell you herself that she appreciates having the security of health and dental insurance, and retirement savings plan and that she thrives working in a female empowered environment.
Goldie has been a part of the Palouse Brand team since the early Spring of 2020. At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Palouse Brand’s surge in orders, she was our first official hire in growing our team. Her favorite moment was her second week of work, when she learned how to sew twenty-five pound bags and sewed over 500 bags during one shift.
On an average day, Goldie loves to keep track of how quickly she can empty a hopper of product when sewing bags, and of course getting to drive the forklift. After working for family members driving wheat trucks to elevators Goldie has really enjoyed getting to see the next steps to the process of getting products to your table.
Palouse Brand was formed out of a fifth generation family farm. The Mader family’s operations span across Southeastern Washington and parts of Northern Idaho while headquartered in Pullman, Washington. Just north of Pullman in the small town of Palouse is our cleaning facility, Palouse Trading, where we take raw food products like our grains and legumes and clean it into the high quality food grade products that our customers have come to love. The Mader family finds great satisfaction in stewarding the land and bringing crops to fruition that consumers can connect with.