Employee Owned for the Future
In January 2023, Hummingbird owners Charlie and Julie Tilt made a bold move by transitioning their ownership of the company to an Employee Owned Purpose Trust, securing and guiding the mission and values of the business into perpetuity. The Purpose Trust was established to serve as a co-creator of life-enhancing, inclusive, and healthy food systems for our regional and global community. The coworkers, affectionately “the birds”, elect the Trust Committee which appoints the Board. The Board oversees the CEO, who works in partnership with the Leadership Team and coworkers to carry out the business of serving our customers, building relationships with vendors, and supporting healthy farming outcomes.
This purpose is intended to remain relevant to the company in perpetuity; the company will never be sold, and all profit will be invested in coworker compensation and in the company's future.
Hummingbird was built on the foundational mission to "sip the nectar of the Earth without harming the flower” seeking to create authentic human connections, grounded in mutually beneficial relationships, in symbiosis with the natural world.
“It was so important to us that the people who do the work to make Hummingbird successful, our coworkers, are entrusted to carry the company forward and reap the rewards of their efforts.” ~Charlie & Julie Tilt
Where we started. Where we’re going.
The Hummingbird Wholesale vision
We are instrumental in transforming the world toward a sustainable food production system which supports the health of the people who depend on it, as well as the earth’s precious ecosystems.
We will not be satisfied until farming in Oregon and the West Coast (and then the world) is 100% organic and sustainable.
We offer Organic, high-quality, nutritious foods grown as locally and sustainably as possible.
We take great care and pride in creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
Like the Hummingbird, we seek to sip the nectar of the Earth without harming the flower.
What it means
• We provide outstanding service to customers, vendors and each other.
• We are committed to creating an environment of safety and health for our coworkers, customers and community.
• We humbly serve the needs of people and planet.
• We seek to continually learn and to educate others.
• We invest in, and develop, long term relationships.
What it means
• We do what we say.
• Our relationships are rooted in respect, honesty and caring.
• We take 100% responsibility and learn from our mistakes.
• We are a model of sustainability, accomplished through continuous improvement.
What it means
• We see the universe as abundant, with enough for all.
• We take the long view and do not act from fear.
• We leverage our unique strengths, finding creative solutions to work smarter, not harder.
• We reinvest in our coworkers, our business and our community.
• We experience financial health through teamwork, persistence and resilience.
The journey so far
Honey Heaven established as a specialty honey shop in Eugene.
Eugene Scott buys the business and changes the focus to wholesale.
Scott retires and sells the business to Charlie and Julie Tilt, who begin expanding the business to sell much more than bee products.
The business is renamed Hummingbird Wholesale, in honor of the hummingbird’s ability to fly in all directions, and its gentle nature—sipping the nectar without harming the flower.
Mayor’s Award for Bold Steps to Sustainability
Oregon Organic Coalition’s Award for Excellence—Wholesaler
The business purchases, remodels and moves into the Stellaria Building near Skinner Butte.
Hummingbird plays an integral role in the opening of Camas Country Mill
in partnership with Hunton's Farm in Junction City, OR.
3rd Place, Oregon Business 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon.
Chamber of Commerce Emerald Award for Environmental Values.
Hummingbird expands into the new the Mahonia Building, built with many reclaimed materials, straw bale insulation, and includes solar electric and hot water panels on the roof.
8th Place, Oregon Business 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon.
Outstanding Value Chain Award: National Co+op Grocer & Climate Collaborative.
Good Food Award Winner: Organic Awakened Pecans and Organic Tibetan Black Barley.
Hummingbird becomes an Employee Owned Purpose Trust.
Awarded 20th in the Oregon Business 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon.