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Frontier Co-op Named to Inc.’s 2022 Best in Business List in Correctional Re-Entry Services Category


The win recognizes the co-op’s second chance hiring commitment through its Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative


NORWAY, Iowa, December 6, 2022 Frontier Co-op, a leader of sustainably sourced and organic spices, herbs, botanicals and plant-based products, has been named to the Inc. 2022 Best in Business list in the Correctional Re-Entry Services category. The third annual list honors 241 private companies putting purpose ahead of profit while making an extraordinary impact in their fields and community.


Inc. recognized Frontier Co-op’s Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative, which partners with local organizations to address systemic challenges connected to employment and economic mobility. An estimated one-in-three Americans have a criminal justice-informed past that can create lifelong obstacles to employment, housing and education. A key pillar of the Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative is second chance hiring practices and apprenticeship programs that help people build important skills and work experience to be successful within the co-op, the manufacturing industry and their community.


To date, 143 individuals have benefitted from Frontier Co-op’s apprenticeship program, and 20 percent of the company’s production hires have been through this program since 2018.


"Our Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative is one of the things I’m most proud of at Frontier Co-op, because the initiative was kickstarted with the steadfast belief that people deserve a second chance,” said Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-op. “We are committed to looking at all facets of a person’s story and providing them the opportunity to grow and do great things, even if they do not have the necessary resources. We are honored to be recognized along with other purpose-driven companies that are lifting up the communities they touch."


As an extension of the Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative, Frontier Co-op recently committed $225,000 over a three-year period to continue their partnership with Willis Dady Homeless Services in neighboring Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The partnership will aim to expand supportive housing units, employment training, one-on-one case management services, childcare, transportation and more.


The Best in Business list, which can be found in the Winter issue of Inc. magazine (on newsstands December 13), recognizes the most dynamic companies of all sizes and industries that have had an outstanding influence on their communities, their industries, the environment, or society as a whole. 


Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc., says, “Inc. magazine is dedicated to showcasing America’s most dynamic businesses and the great things they do. The Best in Business awards shine a light on those that have gone above and beyond their original mission to make a social, environmental or economic impact, benefiting those around them.”


Inc. editors selected honorees in 55 different categories – from advertising to sustainability to retail, and more – and in age-based, revenue-based, size-based, and impact-based categories. Honorees for gold, silver, bronze, and general excellence across industries and categories are featured online at


To learn more about Frontier Co-op and the Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative, visit



Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Co-op is a 40,000 member-owned cooperative offering a full line of products for natural living under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic, Aura Cacia and Plant Boss brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and aromatherapy products — with a wide selection of organics. Frontier Co-op's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility. For more information, visit the co-op's website at  



The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community they need to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit