Labor Day – The First Generation

The recent Labor Day holiday is the time of the year to appreciate all of those hard working people that surround us.  For me it was an opportunity to reflect on the good fortune we’ve had with our staff at Pretzel Pete.  When I made the decision to move away from our co-packing model into direct manufacturing two years ago, one of my major concerns was finding and keeping good production staff.  Since then, I have felt very fortunate that we have established a team of extremely hard working, dedicated and talented people who produce our products every day. They arrive just before 6am regardless of weather and work tirelessly.  Not only do they have to work efficiently and quickly but they also have to pay close attention to all of the product and personal safety protocols we have in place.  It is repetitive, grueling but important work.

There has been a great deal of talk in the political arena these days about immigration and the inherent pros and cons.  At Pretzel Pete, the language that most predominates our production area is Spanish (although English would be close second and the occasional Chinese and even Vietnamese can be heard). Even though our head count is small, a good percentage of our staff is first generation Americans here to try and find a better way of life.  They are thankful for the opportunities even though they have educational and work backgrounds that would suggest they are qualified to do more challenging work.  These are undoubtedly many of the same motivations and challenges that faced my forefathers when they too were first generation  immigrants

So, as I reflect on Labor Day this year, I would like to salute my forefathers, my employees at Pretzel Pete and all first generation immigrant workers that have worked hard to make the U.S. what it is today.