To our loyal customers and coffee-loving community,
Since 2013, we’ve travelled this journey hand in hand with our friends, business partners, and ever-growing community of supporters and today we want to use this platform to connect with you directly. Recently, we were made aware of a misunderstanding that has been circulating through the community that we’ve been a part of for the past seven years and we want to take this opportunity to address it.
As a company founded by two immigrants, we came to this land with dreams of a better future and the mission of supporting the societies in which we live. Therefore, we operate our businesses with two solid credos:
1) Do right by the people that purchase our products, even if it comes at a cost to business.
2) Do right by our employees who make Hidden Grounds the special place that it is.
Hidden Grounds was established knowing that the entrepreneurial journey we were about to embark on would expose us to various forces beyond our control. As we continue on this journey, we will not lose faith and we will not forget our obligations to our employees and consumers. So today, in full transparency, we are choosing to share with you the following information about how we operate:
- Phil Murphy recently signed the new minimum wage law, which requires all employers to pay wages + tips that total up to at least $10. Before this law went into effect, Hidden Grounds started new employees at $8.68 + the average of $2.39 per hour every employee received in tips, which brought the total to $11.07. After the law, we now start employees at $9 an hour plus that average of $2.39, which brings the total to $11.39. Our store managers make $11 per hour plus $2.39, which brings their total up to $13.39 per hour. Hidden Grounds has promoted employees in less than 3 months because we believe in rewarding employees based on performance, not just seniority or hierarchy.
- Hidden Grounds provides employees 1 free meal & 1 free drink per shift so if they work 6 days a week, they are guaranteed 6 free meals and drinks.
- Hidden Grounds conducts paid comprehensive Barista trainings for all new employees.
- Hidden Grounds has chosen not to have uniforms, as we trust our employees to choose something work-appropriate, while being able to express their individuality.
- Hidden Grounds hires regardless of skin color, age, gender, or disability because we believe in equal opportunity for employment & growth, not because it’s the law.
- Hidden Grounds hosts employee profit sharing days where 100% of our profits have gone to our employees.
- Hidden Grounds has provided advanced paychecks to employees in times of financial hardships and dire circumstances.
- Hidden Grounds facilitates paid team meetings.
- Hidden Grounds has collaborated with a non-profit organization to conduct food and clothing drives and host dinners for the homeless at our Espresso Bar location.
- Hidden Grounds has supported the arts by hosting small business owner’s products and selling their handcrafted goods.
- Hidden Grounds has hosted various fundraising events in response to natural disasters
- Hidden Grounds has hosted “Small Business” workshops to show other dreamers how to start their own business.
We have provided the above with the sole purpose of sharing with you some of the actions we have taken in order to practice our values and credos as a company…actions to which you may not have had total visibility. As we evolve, we hope to do bigger and better things to serve our employees and our community at large. If there are any concerns regarding how and what we do regarding business, please ask. Reach out. We will happily respond and share how we’re doing things. We’re always trying to be the best company we can be, so if you have suggestions, please share them with us. It’s true, we can’t do everything customers and employees ask of us, but we will do our best!