N.H. bakery a ‘best company’ for working mothers

The mother of two young children, Jenny Chartier knows firsthand the challenges facing working mothers. So when she took over the family business – Abigail’s Bakery in Weare – seven years ago she was committed to making it a family-friendly place to work for the mothers that she employed.

That commitment paid off recently with national recognition by Working Mother magazine of Abigail’s Bakery as one of Working Mother’s 25 Best Companies.

“We’re all really excited about this,” said Chartier, who left her nursing job to take over the business to accommodate the needs of her own family. “The working atmosphere at Abigail’s Bakery is one where family comes first. It’s the reason I left my position as a full time nurse. I put my two children first and I wouldn’t expect my employees not to do the same.”

Selected for its innovative approach to aiding its working moms in balancing work and home, Abigail’s sets an example for other small-business owners, said to Carol Evans, chief executive officer of Working Mother Media.

“Abigail’s Bakery is exceptional for its commitment to working mothers,” Evans said. “Working Mother commends it for providing a model to small businesses across the country.”

Founded 28 years ago by Chartier’s grandmother, Abigail’s Bakery offers employees – most of whom are working mothers – flextime and telecommuting options and even provides on-site daycare during summer months when children are out of school.

Abigail’s Bakery was one of more than 250 nominations the magazine received for consideration.

Now in its 21st year, Working Mother’s list focuses on three areas: work/life benefits; entrepreneurial spirit; and programs to help women advance.

The entire list of 100 Best Companies can be found at workingmother.com or in the April issue of Working Mother. – TRACIE STONE

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