Pinnacle Awards going to Staples, Dancing Deer Baking Company

Issue October 2014 By Debbie Swanson

Established by the Massachusetts Bar Association's Consumer Advocacy Task Force, the MBA's Pinnacle Awards recognize companies in Massachusetts with a proven, demonstrated commitment to their consumers. The first winners of this new award are Dancing Deer Baking Company and Staples Inc.

The winner of the small company award, Dancing Deer Baking Company of Boston, was recognized for upholding its founding commitment to its food, nature, aesthetics and community.

The company's popular baked goods - an impressive assortment of cookies, brownies and cakes - are created with high quality, natural ingredients and are all certified kosher. Dancing Deer stands behind its commitment to customer service, stating they'll do whatever it takes to reverse a dissatisfied customer. Their non-deceptive, eco-friendly packaging exemplifies their commitment to the customer and the environment.

Dancing Deer is also firmly committed to the community and often donates their treats to charitable organizations or events. In 2001, they launched The Sweet Home Project, focused on ending family homelessness.

CEO Frank Carpenito said the company is honored to receive the award.

"This recognition reinforces our belief that delivering quality products, superior customer service and full messaging transparency is the foundation of a successful business," said Carpenito. "As the recognized leader in business gifting for Massachusetts companies and institutions, we take pride in what we do - from our innovative products to our sustainable business practices. Our baked goods are known for their superior taste, artful but simple packaging, and pure, high-quality ingredients. We look forward to continuing to grow, yet staying true to our core values."

Staples, based in Framingham, was the winner of the large company award. A global office supply retailer, Staples has demonstrated a commitment to both consumers and the environment.

Staples' Easy on the Planet program is committed to helping customers run their business eco-consciously. The program requires suppliers to be more transparent about the chemicals in its products, consequently offering products that have reduced toxicity and reducing pollution. They also feature recycling solutions for laptop and other products, and offer eco-friendly tips helping customers read labels and make eco-friendly choices.

Jake Swenson, director of sustainable products and services, said the company is honored and excited to receive the inaugural Pinnacle Award.

"We do everything with our customer in mind," said Swenson. "We're equally as excited to be able to offer customers more than 10,000 products … designed to be gentler on the environment and human health."

Swenson reported that the company is happy to be able to meet the eco-aware needs of today's customers.

"More of our customers want to know that the products and services Staples offers are safe, made responsibly, and have reduced environmental and social impacts. We have seen these customers increasingly choose environmentally and socially responsible products," he said, adding that their recycling programs for ink, cartridges and other items is widely popular.

At the start of the current school year, Staples teamed up with music superstar Katy Perry for their "Make Roar Happen" program, which fulfilled 949 classroom projects, provided 1,386 teachers in 1,089 schools with their classroom needs, and impacted 143,053 students throughout the U.S.

Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, said the company is thrilled with the results: "With the help of our customers, we touched thousands of teachers and students … we helped ensure teachers and students have what they need in their classrooms for a successful year."