Lunch with Pete – it’s kind of a big deal
Nov 07, 2019 (Westby, WI)
“Lunch with Pete” might not sound like a big deal, but at Westby Cooperative Creamery it is. Pete Kondrup is the Cooperative’s general manager who overseas every department – from production to sales. He reports to the board of directors as well as – to an extent – the cooperative’s 135 employees.
Each year a series of lunches are set aside for “lunch with Pete.” This gives all employees who have been with the Cooperative a year or more the chance to have a direct conversation with the general manager. These lunches recently took place, during which time Pete provided a general update and listened to employee ideas and thoughts.
Lunch begins with casual conversation, mostly about the Packers, and naturally parlays into chat about fitness and trying to eat well… while eating pizza. Then Kondrup shares updates with the group about anything from equipment investments to long-term goals, such as investing in robotics to improve the work experience.
This year, Kondrup pointed out and encouraged the team to visit the new cheese store, which moved across the street from the plant for improved accessibility and more space. The old cheese store will be turned into a lab, Kondrup said, and the old lab will make way for upgraded electrical systems.
The team asked questions about the Cooperative’s large customers as well as if the cooperative will ever be making products from goat milk. “The problem with that is you have to keep everything separate. That gets harder and harder as we grow,” Kondrup explained.
Lunch with Pete has been taking place for five years. “It gives me a chance to meet and hear from employees in a relaxed environment,” Kondrup said, adding that he likes getting the chance to thank the team this way.
To learn more about the collaborative work environment at Westby Cooperative Creamery, visit the “Careers” section of the website at /careers/.