Mintz + Hoke: Making an Impact

Ad agency is supporting BeanZ & Co.’s mission as customers, donors—and employers.

Some of the Mintz + Hoke leadership team and staff with a few BeanZ & Co. employees.

Some of the Mintz + Hoke leadership team and staff with a few BeanZ & Co. employees.

The Avon, Conn.-based advertising agency Mintz + Hoke is a long-time and valued catering and lunch customer of The New England Pasta Company (Pasta Co.). Right from the start, the agency supported Pasta Co.’s new venture, the inclusive coffee cafe BeanZ & Co., for its fresh-made and healthy offerings, personalized customer service—and mission of inclusive employment.

“A lot of us take our health seriously and at Pasta Co., they take care with how their food is sourced and produced, with a clean focus,” says Kara Mitchell, principal of client service at Mintz + Hoke. “Its model and mission with BeanZ & Co. is also at the core of our agency. We worked with the Department of Rehabilitation Services on a Connect-Ability marketing campaign to create awareness about ability. We’re very passionate about employers giving people with disabilities access to jobs. BeanZ & Co. is taking the next step as local business owners and we’re eager to support that effort.”

And support BeanZ & Co. and Pasta Co. they do—both as an agency and as individuals. “BeanZ & Co. and Pasta Co. truly are near and dear to our heart,” says Christine Millette, human resources manager of Mintz + Hoke. “You can find any number of us there every single day. We joke we should have a shuttle bus that takes us there from the office!”

On the agency side, there is a great need for catering services. “As an agency, we are constantly looking to bring in quality food—and to be able to help support a mission we believe in is a win-win,” says Ron Perine, president and chief executive officer of Mintz + Hoke. “The ease of working with The New England Pasta Company as a caterer—the quality, creativity, variety and personalization—they knock it out of the park every time. Pasta Co. is our tried and true catering partner.”

For any business, but in particular for those in the client service industry as Mintz + Hoke is, building a relationship with a caterer that aligns is key. “Catering is a huge component of the client experience,” says Kara. “We have a partner in Pasta Co. and BeanZ & Co. that we want for our clients. Their mission of high quality, personalized customer service that is socially conscious, pairs with ours. We want to partner in a way that is consistent with what we represent.”

Partnering with a caterer that is local is an added value for Mintz + Hoke. “Local relationships are so important to us,” says Ron. “There are big changes on the horizon locally here. We like to support main street business. There is a different level of quality and personal service and value. We know the owners, Scott and Kim Morrison, and Noelle Alix as co-owner on the BeanZ & Co. side. They are so personable and always remember us. It goes a long way.”

To further share its support, Mintz + Hoke recently made a $1,000 donation to BeanZ & Co. along with 20 tickets for a staff outing to the Hartford Yard Goats, the greater Hartford area’s local minor league baseball team. “We want to help local, small businesses however we can,” says Ron. “We know how hard it is to launch a new business and we see the passion they all bring everyday, just as we do at Mintz + Hoke. We want to be sure they succeed.”

Why tickets to a ballgame in addition to a financial donation? “I was in a conversation with Nick who often works the register during the lunch shift and is such a sports fan—and the idea just blossomed,” says Kara. “We have access so why not share that at BeanZ & Co. to give Nick and all the staff the chance to go out and have fun, and be rewarded for their hard work.”

Putting a lens on employees in their philanthropy is essential to Mintz + Hoke. “We get a lot of inquiries about donations, but believe it’s better for us to do something without being asked,” says Ron. “We try to make a significant donation that will make an impact and aligns with who we are as an agency—specifically, to impact employees on both sides. For example, as an agency we support Habitat for Humanity. We have a build day and our employees love that. The more our own employees feel good about the charitable work our agency does the better. Social services are core to our business.”

For Mintz + Hoke, there’s nothing better than seeing their patronage as individuals and as an agency manifest. “We love seeing that support come to life,” says Kara. “I go to BeanZ & Co. almost every day and see employees completely growing in confidence and ability. It’s just heartwarming to witness. We’re all in a hurry and self-focused as a culture. Everyone steps in the door at BeanZ & Co. and forgets about all that. It happens organically. BeanZ & Co. is fostering a sense of reality different than anywhere else.”

Vanessa Woy, content and community manager at Mintz + Hoke agrees. “With BeanZ & Co.’s mission, they are building community and it carries through the whole experience. That it’s local, fresh, personal, the story—it’s not transactional, it’s meaningful.”

Mintz + Hoke is eager to explore hiring an individual with an intellectual and developmental disability at its agency. “We’ve instilled that we want to be part of something where we can make an impact,” says Ron. “We’re willing to talk to BeanZ & Co. about hiring someone with an intellectual and developmental disability. We can already see that not only will the individual benefit, we will all benefit twice as much. It’s what we’re grounded in.”

From BeanZ & Co.’s perspective, there could be no greater complement from a customer. “Our mission is to both employ an inclusive workforce of those with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities—and to have other employers follow our lead,” says Kim Morrison, owner of The New England Pasta Company and co-owner of BeanZ & Co. “We believe it’s the way the world should be. To have Mintz + Hoke who is such a valued customer looking to add an employee with IDD to their workforce—that’s the biggest measure of our success.”

For more information about employing an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability, contact BeanZ & Co. at info@beanzandco.com.

Mintz + Hoke is a local advertising agency helping clients win their most difficult marketing battles—using media, strategy, advertising, digital, design, PR and more. The agency has been recognized as one of Connecticut's Top Workplaces by the Hartford Courant and FoxCT, as well as the Hartford Business Journal. Learn more at www.mintz-hoke.com and connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

BeanZ & Co. is an inclusive coffee café employing people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrates the possibilities in all of us. The coffee café serves breakfast, lunch, hot and cold beverages, and bakery items for take-out or eat in, and also offers catering services. BeanZ & Co. is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 300 West Main Street, Avon, Conn. For more information visit beanzandco.com and friend them on Facebook and Instagram.