Foley Distributing Named Deane C. Davis Award Finalist
The story of the Foley Family of Companies started in 1879, when Michael Foley purchased Goodwin’s Laundry in Rutland, Vermont. The business grew over generations and eventually became Foley Laundry, a business still in operation today. The Foley family used the small operation to launch new business ideas and in 1973, the Foley Family of Companies was created. Today, the thriving business owns and operates The Party Store, Pistols & Roses, Foley Services and Foley Distributing.
The Foley Family of Companies is no stranger to the struggles businesses in Vermont face during uncertain economic times. Being in business since 1879 will give any company an appreciation for a fluctuating economy and the savvy business skills needed to work with the changing times. A snapshot of the last five years shows a steady increase in sales totaling 17% while their staff swelled 25 percent. The last two years proved challenging for the company, but their commitment to their workforce did not waiver and no jobs were cut.
The Foley Family of Companies attributes their 130 years of success to the dedication of their customers and employees. The company business model is built on the work and creativity of its staff and empowers its workforce to continually develop new ideas to better serve existing customers. Weekly staff meetings and semi-annual reviews keep the business on that track of continually setting benchmarks and goals for both the employee performance and customer service.
The company is not only dedicated to the betterment of its workforce but to the community in which it resides. All employees are encouraged to participate in community projects. The most notable contribution in recent years is the Foley Cancer Center at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. The Community Cancer Center was in much need of a facelift when it received a financial gift from the Foley family. This gift kicked off an important fundraiser that allowed the center to purchase equipment for cancer treatment. Now many patients who were previously traveling up to 100 miles to receive daily treatments have access to cutting-edge treatment options that they may have otherwise declined due to travel distance.
One criterion for the Dean C. Davis award is a company’s recognition of the environment as a natural and economic resource for Vermont. The Foley Family of Companies has promoted green initiatives over the last 20 years, indicating their dedication to the preservation of Vermont’s natural environment. They began with the simple act of partnering with companies that produce recycled products such as paper, towels and GreenSeal certified cleaning chemicals, offering their clients the opportunity to become more environmentally conscious. The company led regional hospitals in a composting project and helped initiate the first large scale composting program in healthcare foodservice. On a smaller scale, the Foley Family of Companies implemented the LEEF program in area schools. This program not only helps fundraising efforts for school programs that are not state funded, but also teaches students the importance of being “green” at home.
The Foley Family of Companies embodies the very essence of the Deane C. Davis award. They have struck a balance between serving their community and workforce while maintaining a savvy business sense enabling them to stay profitable. Taking into consideration all the company has accomplished in over 130 years, the Foley Family of Companies outlines itself as a strong contender in this trio of business excellence.