Conversion Stories

Metis Construction

The seeds of Metis Construction were planted in 2007 with a core group of contractors, mostly working on residential projects. “In the beginning, we were all just independent contractors,” recalls Matthias Scheiblehner, co-founder of Metis, “but it was clear even then that we all felt tremendous ownership over the work we were doing.”   > Learn more

Real Pickles

Real Pickles is a Massachusetts-based company that makes pickles from regionally grown vegetables that are raw, vinegar-free, 100% organic, and rich in probiotics, using the traditional natural fermentation process. Founded in 2001 by Dan Rosenberg, Real Pickles is, “committed to promoting human and ecological health by providing people with delicious, nourishing food and by working toward a regional, organic food system.” In line with its social mission, the company buys its vegetables only from Northeast family farms and sells its products only within the Northeast, and the products are made in a solar-powered facility.   > Learn more

Island Employee Cooperative

For 43 years, Vern and Sandra Seile owned three retail stores on Deer Isle, an island off the coast of Maine: a large grocery store named Burnt Cove Market, a medium size grocery store called The Galley, a hardware and variety store called V&S Variety, and a fourth business, V&S Pharmacy. The businesses were a staple of the community—they were a major employer on the island and the nearest comparable stores were at least 25 miles away on backcountry roads. Many of the 60 employees of the businesses had been working with the Seiles for several decades—one employee had even been with Burnt Cove Market since it opened in 1973.   > Learn more

The New School of Montpelier

Founded in 2005 by Susan Kimmerly, The New School of Montpelier (Vermont) is a day school serving students ages 6 – 22 with severe disabilities whose needs cannot be met by their school district. This primarily includes children and young adults with autism, cognitive disabilities, and challenging behaviors, often related to trauma. To quote the co-op’s business plan, the school provides “a safe and encouraging environment for our unique learners. Our staff uses therapeutic components based on strong relationships with students to help them be successful.” At the time of the sale to the co-op, the school had served 60 students from 24 schools, with 22 students currently enrolled and 45 employees. The School has a reputation for providing a loving and safe environment for its students, many of whose lives have been greatly improved as a result.   > Learn more