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Last Update: Monday July 26, 2021

Key Idea: Hire for Life

Joseph Semprevivo, founder of a Joseph's Lite Cookies in Deming, New Mexico believes that creating a job is creating a sacred trust.   Next video...

Key Question:


We believe that creating a job is a sacred trust. Leadership-development consultant and coach, Donna Stoneham says that we must, "Hold each person's story as sacred." This is what great business owners do. They hire people then consider each person sacred to the organization. They think about a person's life wholistically and shoulder the responsibility to pay that person fairly and help them grow. Creating a job is creating a sacred trust.

Joseph Semprevivo is on fire about what he and his team accomplishes and he thinks the productivity is based upon his commitment to employ people for life.

His Mom and Dad owned a restaurant so he learned from childhood what it takes to make a business work.

His parents had a terrible set-back when they took a much-needed vacation and returned to their business to find that their manager had stolen all the money taken in over the two-week period and that he had cleaned out the freezers!

Even seeing what his parents went through, for some reason, Joseph didn't get cynical about people. In fact, he figures that people will work harder and smarter if they know that they have a job for life. Joseph considers the act of creating jobs a sacred trust. He trusts other to do the work they promised to do and he can be trusted to make the payroll. He sees that it is an honor to have people around him who want to be part of his vision.

What has Joseph's philosophy taught him about people?

A: If an employee knows he or she will not be laid off or replaced due to increased efficiency, the employee will find ways to increase efficiency. Seems so simple! The person doing a job always has more insight about that job than a supervisor and the best way to reduce the cost of making something is for the people making it to suggest improvements.

Think about it

Why don't more small business owners offer a job for life? Could you do it? Would you do it?

Clip from: Job Creation In New Mexico

Meet Linda Brewer of Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City.

Southwestern, New Mexico: In this episode of the show, we go into New Mexico as guests of the Chamber of Commerce of Las Cruces and Silver City. When we asked them, "What is your biggest business problem?" both said "Job creation." Yet, when we asked, "Are there businesses that are creating jobs?" over 100 businesses were recommended!

So, we asked practically every business advocate in the State of New Mexico,  "Would you take a look at this list and tell us who would you'd like to represent your state on national television?" It quickly became apparent that any  businesses from that list of 100 would have been fine.

In this episode we visit with five businesses and try to learn why they are being so successful in creating work for others. 

We learned a lot.  

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Joseph's Lite Cookies

Joseph Semprivivo, Founder

3700 "J" Street
Deming, NM 88030

Visit our web site:

Office: 5055462839

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Hire for Life

HATTIE: (Voiceover) About an hour's drive from Las Cruces is Deming, where we met the founder of Joseph's Lite Cookies and saw his night shift making the goodies so many love to eat. Joseph Semprevivo deserves to brag.

JOSEPH SEMPREVIVO (Joseph's Lite Cookies): I want to do something different. I want to tell my team members, `You start with me, you can end with me. You can work with me the rest of your life until you retire.' And they love that.

And what we've found out is our team members care more about efficiency because they have lifetime jobs. They come to me and they say, `You know what, Joseph? If we eliminate this step in the process, we can save the company more money,' and I'm sitting there, I'm scratching my head, saying, `Wow, but that's actually reducing your workload.'
`Yeah, I know, but my job is to reduce my workload so much, you'll create another job for me.' And that's found to be true. We've moved them from one position to another because they've actually eliminated positions within the company.

See, we're team-based, and in order to have a team, you have to have honesty, and you have to have integrity and promise-keeping, and people need to know that the person to their right and the person to their left, they depend on, and our team members in the front office depend on the team members in the production facility. And you know what? I would not have a job if it wasn't for my team members in production. I'd be out of a job. And you know what? Our team members in the back, they understand that they would not have a job if it wasn't for me.

HATTIE: That's right.

JOSEPH: So it's a true partnership now.

HATTIE: OK. You started in what year?

JOSEPH: I started in 1986.

HATTIE: And you were?

JOSEPH: I was 15 years old with the cookies, yes.

HATTIE: OK. But why? Where did you get the inspiration? Why cookies with no sugar?

JOSEPH: Well, at nine years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes, so obviously, I couldn't have any sugar at all. And went to my parents. I had an ice cream shop actually when I turned to the age of 12, and I ran in to my parents, I said, `You know what? I'm making this gourmet ice cream every single day, and I want to make a sugar-free ice cream,' and my parents said, `Well, go ahead. You know the recipe of the gourmet. See what you can come up with.' And I came up with the first sugar-free ice cream in the marketplace when I was 12 years old.

When I was 15, I went to my parents and said, `Could you make me a sugar-free cookie?' and they came up with the first sugar-free cookie when I was 15 years old. And when I tasted it, I said, `That's it, I want to share this sugar-free cookie with all the other diabetics in the country.'

HATTIE: Your parents made this oatmeal cookie. When did you turn that into a business?

JOSEPH: Actually, as soon as they made it. I was 15, they made it, I loved it. I said, `You know what? I'm going to start locally, do a rolling out strategy.' Of course, I didn't know the terminology at 15 years old, but I said, `I'm going to start in Deming and then go to the next city and the next city.' And now I'm in 50 states across the country, yeah.

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