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Sonoma County Gazette
Oliver’s Market Social Purpose Corporation 2018 Annual Report

Oliver's Market Social Purpose Corporation Annual Report

Jul 8, 2019


A Social Purpose Corporation, by its nature, prioritizes people and community. The word CORPORATION has taken on a negative meaning over time because priorities tend to be profit above all else. Investors seek to make money on their money so corporations do what it takes to make their investors happy. Often that means making compromises that create profit in the short run but that harm people, communities, the environment, etc. in the long run. Socially conscious corporation and businesses function within the guidelines that long-term investing is more than for financial gain. That benefits to communities, people and the planet are also assets to be counted and valued. 

Sonoma County’s employee-owned Oliver’s Market has released their firstSocial Purpose Corporation Annual Report

Oliver's became a Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) in 2017 when Oliver's founder and president Steve Maass opted to concurrently make this change and establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). These changes were made to preserve Oliver’s independence for years to come and reward the employees who have worked to build and sustain the company.

Filing with the state of California as a Social Purpose Corporation did not pose a huge cultural shift for the company, because the stated goals have been key pieces of Oliver’s culture since the first store was opened in November 1988. In summary, the Articles of Incorporation state that Oliver’s is committed to serving “our employees, suppliers, and customers…as well as the Sonoma County community, including its people, businesses, agriculture, and environment.”

As a Social Purpose Corporation, Oliver’s is required to complete and post an Annual Report. The goal for the initial 2018 Annual Report is to present the company’s achievements and advancements related to its Social Purpose Corporation tenets, and use these accomplishments as a baseline for new 2019 goals related to these areas. 

“Becoming a Social Purpose Corporation, or SPC, has provided us with a great opportunity to think about the things that are important to us in a more quantifiable way,” said Steve Maass, Oliver’s Market founder and president. “We will use this SPC Annual Report to share our progress in sustainability, serving our community, our partners, and most importantly, our employees. I hope it will help everyone learn more about the many ways we are working to serve Sonoma County and be sustainable.” 

Download the Oliver’s Market Social Purpose Corporation 2018 Annual Reporthere:


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