FAVORITE PORT CITY PRETZEL: Feisty Hot
Q. How did you start working here?
A. I had been living as “Paul” all my life, and I got to the point where I just couldn’t do that anymore. I knew once I became “Vivian,” the job I was working at during that time would not be a friendly environment. So I started looking for a new job. My first two interviews as Vivian were on the same day—one here, one across town. I was scared to death, but I knew I had to do it. Remarkably, I was offered both jobs. The other one paid a little bit more, but I just felt that this was a better fit. I really liked Suzanne. I like the woman-owned idea. I felt it was right for me. Two years later, I’m still here. So I guess it was.
Q. What did you do before working at Port City Pretzels?
A. I was in the beer business for quite a while. I was actually the first microbrewer in the state of New Hampshire. I went on to start a few of my own ventures, then later worked at a draft beer installation, repair and maintenance company.
Q. What do you do here?
A. I take care of all the office functions and handle customer service. I generate FedEx labels for shipping, I submit payroll—a little bit of everything. I even jump out back on the floor in production, if needed. That’s where I worked when I started here. When this office job popped up, Suzanne asked if I knew anybody for the job. I saw it as an opportunity and a challenge. So I raised my hand and said, “Me.”
Q. What’s it like to work here?
A. I never wake up in the morning and say “Ugh, I’ve got to go to work today.” I really enjoy it. I love all the people here. I like that it’s new and it’s different. I’m constantly busy. I look at the clock and say “I can’t believe it’s noon,” and that’s pretty great. If you’re working and you’re watching the clock and you’re not happy, it’s miserable and it doesn’t matter how much you’re getting paid.
Q. What’s your favorite part of your job?
A. I like being out front and being the face of the company. I’m the first contact for most people here. I’m aware of that. I’m proud and happy about it. I actually took the place of another trans person, so I thought that was pretty remarkable. I don’t think that happens very often.
Q. Would you call Port City Pretzels an inclusive environment?
A. Oh yes. There are some people here who are challenged, and I’ve always enjoyed meeting people who are different and learning and challenging my own perceptions of things. I find that we’re all the same. I’m so impressed with Suzanne for taking the time and effort to do what she does to be inclusive. I love to see that everybody here likes their job and wants to be here. I find it so rewarding.
Q. What is Suzanne like?
A. She’s totally real. She’s not doing all this for any competitive advantage. It’s her belief. It’s her core. She keeps on top of everything, but lets me jump in anywhere she needs me, which gives her a bit more time to focus on growing the company and other things she might not have had time to do before.
Q. So you’re happy here?
A. I couldn’t be any happier that I found this place. I’m quite sure that when I leave here I’m going to be fully retired. I can see being here several more years just because I like it.