Penzeys Spices Reviews | Glassdoor

Penzeys Spices Reviews

Updated November 26, 2018
66 reviews

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3.0
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William Penzey Jr
36 Ratings

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)

  • "Great products, great customers, great coworkers" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "LOW pay, below a living wage for full-time employees (I believe raises are" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Having been a part-time associate and then a key holder it amazes me that some think this job is the most fantastic place on earth" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Wonderful!"

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

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time

    Pros

    The CEO is compassionate and kind. Genuinely good person. The company cares about its people.

    Cons

    Pay for retail employees could be a little higher.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not the best"

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

    I worked at Penzeys Spices part-time

    Pros

    Free spices, starting hourly wage is higher than average retail to

    Cons

    Little to none career advancement opportunities. There is really no room for creativity or creative thinking, as everything has to be done the way management has seen to be the “best” way. While Penzeys boasts itself as a strong left-leaning company, I feel that they do not hold true to liberal ideals when it comes to taking care of their employees. Unless you are a key holder, there are only part time work opportunities. There is also an expectation to have extremely flexible availability. Work opportunities with Penzeys only cater to those who are retired and want a “for fun” job. While they continue to give more and more free things to their customers, they continue to cut down employee hours.

    Advice to Management

    Care about your employees! Make job opportunities that reflect your political ideals! Pay your employees $15/hr!

  3. "Company values depicted on the outside, is not what's happening on the inside."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time

    Pros

    Your coworkers are great.
    They feed you twice a week for free.
    Benefits are great.

    Cons

    Employee relations favor's temporary workers over permanent workers.
    There are no set rules or standards, what is okay one day, isn't the next.
    The regular, full-time employees, are intimidated by employee relations, one wrong word or phrase will get you the 3:25 walk out. There are no second chances. Keep your head down and don't talk to anyone from ER.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. Kindness, the company motto is more the just a word.


  4. "The spice is right"

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

    I worked at Penzeys Spices part-time

    Pros

    Great discounts on products, I really loved my coworkers so it made the job more interesting and bearable. If you love cooking and spices then its a super nice job.

    Cons

    The corporate management is absolutely the worst, they don't have things together at all an ended up creating a lot more work for the people in the stores. For example, one time they had us add a promotional card to all of the seasonal cards, only to tell us a few days later that they we needed to remove all of them.

    Advice to Management

    Get more organized, or let the individual stores make more small decisions by themselves.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Food lovers' unite...or do they?"

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

    I worked at Penzeys Spices full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    lots of food days, great coworkers, discussing cooking and recipes, discounts and free spices

    Cons

    Owner's writings are often insulting and anger inducing for those who don't share his viewpoints. Politics are polarizing by nature, so alienating half your customers makes working in customer service a hostile place to be. Not to mention, half the employees didn't agree with those views either but were scared to voice it for fear of losing their jobs

    Advice to Management

    Politics in food causes indigestion.


  6. "Ethical and socially responsible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Part Timer
    Current Employee - Part Timer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penzeys Spices part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    In our job descriptions, we are told kindness is of utmost importance. Having conversations with customers about food and cooking and not pushing a product are what we are about. We are introduced to "the power of I don't know", meaning we don't act like know-it-all-spice snobs and instead try to learn along with the customers. We really engage with them and it's a very pleasant place to spend time. The retail room is there for us at all times. We are encouraged to give them a ring whenever we have any questions, problems, suggestions or even just to check in and say Hi. We get to give away so much stuff as there are always coupons and freebies to pass along. When I first started, the pay was pretty low, especially for where I live. Within a year, we all received a good increase and the following year, another one. I feel like Bill Penzey truly cares about us and is trying to show that with the pay raises. Just as important as money and environment - at least to me - is the fact that he is extremely vocal about the injustices he sees in the world. It takes true character to risk profits in order to do the right thing. He really puts his money where his mouth is and I couldn't feel more proud of the company I get to work for!

    Cons

    There are some customers who have a problem with Bill's in-your- face politics. I suppose if you support racism, misogyny, homophobia and poverty, he seems pretty radical. Those customers can be difficult and can take their anger out on us, the hourly employees. I'm fortunate to live in a town with more kindness than anger so I am not so impacted. But some of our stores get the brunt of the vitriol and that is tough to deal with. Especially because, no matter what is said to us, we are told to always show the customer great respect and kindness.

    There is only one full timer - the Keyholder. The Keyholder is responsible for making the schedules, being the bridge between the head office and some other managerial duties. It is NOT a traditional management position and sometimes that is not made clear enough to a new hire. I see no problem at all with the position, but I wish new Keyholders better understood their role. Meaning - it ain't such a big deal! Go with the flow and don't take on a superior attitude.

    Advice to Management

    Check in with the part timers. Maybe have them contribute to the Key Holder's reviews.


  7. "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.

  8. Helpful (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


  9. "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.


  10. "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.