Penzeys Spices Reviews | Glassdoor

Penzeys Spices Reviews

Updated November 16, 2017
60 reviews

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2.8
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William Penzey Jr
32 Ratings

60 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The wages went up recently, which was nice, but I was only working the job part-time while looking for work in my field (in 5 reviews)

  • Friendly customers and great co-workers (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Would like to go full time but there are no other (in 6 reviews)

  • Too much secrecy on the part of the upper management including the owner (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Production"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Boxing in Wauwatosa, WI
    Former Employee - Boxing in Wauwatosa, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent pay, open hours, friendly people

    Cons

    Monotonous work, physically challenging at times, playing christmas music during the holidays

    Advice to Management

    It might be helpful to rotate people through different jobs on the hour when putting together gift sets and making boxes. It's difficult to do one task for 5-8 hours straight. Also provide stools for people to sit if that works better for them.


  2. "Retail Supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time

    Pros

    Company sells high quality spices with a message of kindness

    Cons

    In reality, management is very subjective, with very vague communication... ultimately hard to do quality job when trying to figure out strange, undefined "quality" of company. Apparently kindness does not extend to paying salary you can live on (for professional/supervisory position)

    Advice to Management

    get over yourself. absolutely believe in kindness, but some of your mgmt are egomaniacs, others actually certifiable

  3. "Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Overland Park, KS
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Overland Park, KS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penzeys Spices part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work, love the product and my co-workers!

    Cons

    I can't think of a con.

    Advice to Management

    Limit the customer emails.


  4. "Not a bad part-time retail gig"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I had a great manager who was pretty consistent with scheduling me and very understanding when I needed time off. The wages went up recently, which was nice, but I was only working the job part-time while looking for work in my field.

    Cons

    It's retail. Some customers have a greater sense of entitlement than others, and telling someone they can't use their expired coupon is never a fun time. There's also little room for advancement if you're only a part-time worker - unless my manager left, there would be no chance of me becoming a full-time employee of Penzeys.

    Advice to Management

    Give us more clear communication with what's expected of us during promotions, sometimes the email instructions leave things unclear and lead to confusion among the employees.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Key holder"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time

    Pros

    Friendly and laid back work environment. Encouraged to talk with customers about cooking, life and just have a good time socializing

    Cons

    Ownership is extremely liberal and spews his political views onto his employees and customers


  6. Helpful (2)

    "part time sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Part Time Sales Associate
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices (More than a year)

    Pros

    relaxed work environment, nice employee discount on products

    Cons

    key holders are not given true management authority ,with exception of scheduling all employees rotate responsibilities in store and not compensated well, regional management out of touch with local markets, low pay,

    Advice to Management

    trust your keyholders to hire their own people and schedule them for what works in their market. allow part time employees to work partial day shifts you will retain more people, pay your people better too much responsibility for what you currently compensate


  7. "Keyholder"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work, great hours, friendly environment

    Cons

    Not a good long term career

  8. Helpful (3)

    "CEO Out of touch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices part-time

    Pros

    Good Hours; ie stores not open too late, a lot of major holidays closed, customers were nice.

    Cons

    I have never worked for a retail company where the upper management were so out of touch. I'm used to working for companies where the District or Regional Managers visit to touch base with both managers and associates....not so at Penzeys. The 'regional managers' work out of Wisconsin and barely visit stores. Merchandise and displays never change...not even seasonally. Nothing is done with out permission from Wisconsin, and even if a manager or associate has a good idea for a display, product or idea it is summarily dismissed because Bill Penzey did not think of it. He spends a lot of time writing nice letters about equality and kindness in his catalogs, but it rarely shows in the stores towards his own employees. I began to wonder if he was a real person. Our keyholder traveled for a meetings in Wisconsin and he could not even be bothered to introduce himself to his own staff---that's just bizarre.

    Advice to Management

    Change Music, it gets so old listening to the same music for 2 years. Upper Management is almost too hands off. Regional supervisors need to visit stores more often. Bill Penzey needs to more involved, a 'Thank You' to his employees even around the holidays would be nice.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Production worker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Worker in Wauwatosa, WI
    Former Employee - Production Worker in Wauwatosa, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free lunch on Wednesday, soup on Friday. Donuts. Lots of work, great co-workers.

    Cons

    The work was clear but the communication with bosses or the future of company wasn't.

    Advice to Management

    Work on communicating better with employees


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great Alleged Values, Failed Practice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Penzey’s has a strong product and, often times, a very pleasant customer base. The company has found success through having a product that is superior in quality to many grocery store alternatives, and often similarly priced. They tend to fancy themselves (and some customer’s would agree,) as more than a spice company. Instead, much of their company materials focus on values of family, community, kindness, and politically left-oriented ideals. This often times leads to customers who feel extremely loyal to the company and its values; in a retail position this can be a boon and very energizing to have people actively excited to walk in the door. While, with any retail position, you may sometimes be on the receiving end of a customer’s bad day, it is fair to say that there is a bit less likelihood of this at the stores due to the strong following Penzey’s has.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, being an employee of the company often leaves one feeling that they are only playing lip-service to the ideals they are so quick to state and restate on a daily basis. Corporate management can often times be very neglectful towards issues involving the physical safety of staff, as well as issues of morale. This often is due to the one-size-fits-all approach of stressing to the staff member the importance of being kind in any given situation, and reminding the staff member of all the ways ‘they are not just a spice company’ but here to promote values.

    Kindness and community are incredibly important values but they unfortunately become ‘stump speeches’ in most any employee-corporate management interaction. In my time at the company, several times these speeches still surfaced despite the fact very real issues of the physical safety of staff members when opening the store, concerns of sexual harassment, and dealing with passionate/aggressive customer complaints were the focus. Even these complex issues, corporate response could often be boiled down to the dangerously simplistic: Be kind, trust one another, and assume the best of people in any situation.

    The pervasiveness of this philosophy also often extends to even less critical concerns. Customers often times will pass on concerns, questions, and suggestions to staff, and those are often met with silence or yet another ‘kindness works’ stump speech from corporate management. This often puts staff in a precarious position of trying to de-escalate customer concerns and complaints without any meaningful corporate feedback. Ironically, this ultimately leads to the fact that, as a staff member, you often feel exempt from Penzey’s “rule of kindness” since you are stuck trying to find meaningful solutions to problems and questions that arise from customers and on-location staff alike. It is, in essence, quite an isolating position, where you feel that there are very urgent needs of safety, well-being, and product satisfaction to be addressed on one hand, yet the corporate ’support’ you have on hand consistently takes the approach of broad-painted speeches concerning the importance of kindness, love, and community. While these values are easy to agree with, the choosing to do nothing or relying on broad-painted speeches while ignoring issues is a choice often frought with violence and values in itself: furthermore, it is very often quite an “unkind” choice to the on-location staff member, who is left with the burden of trying to handle a problem practically.


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