Her new boss gave her 6 months off on paid maternity leave. Then he did something even bigger.

Here's a small-business owner who knows that keeping employees happy is paramount. And sometimes, the best move is making them into more than employees.

Tami Forbes is a hard worker. She was making just $300 a week managing a small pie company that became the focus of CNBC's reality series "The Profit" last season, which works to help troubled small businesses thrive.

The last time we saw Tami, she was given a surprise at work — six months of paid maternity leave.



"It means everything, knowing that I have a salary when I come back," said Tami, when given the news of her leave.

It was a powerful moment — a hardworking mom rewarded for her commitment to her job from an executive who understands how important it is to take care of the people who build a business everyday.

That executive, Marcus Lemonis, host of the show, has kept tabs on the pie company since and has seen how Tami's contributions have helped make the Key West Key Lime Pie Company thrive.

Fast forward one year, and Marcus is back. He tells Tami how much she has meant to the company.

His next move? Bold. He's giving Tami much more than a just raise.

Marcus is giving Tami a 25% ownership stake in the company.


Erupting into a smile, Tami says, "It's crazy. It's crazy! I don't have a bachelor's on the wall." But now she is a part owner of the company she worked so hard to build.

Women own 30% of businesses nationwide, and that's up a great deal in the last few years. In fact, it's the fastest-growing demographic for new companies.

But you know what's really cool about this? A new boss comes in, and rather than just gutting everything and hiring inexperienced staff who would work for peanuts, he identified those people who absolutely loved what they did for this company, treated them with kindness and respect, and rewarded the best of the best.

That's a heck of a business model, and it works.

Something tells me this not-so-little-anymore pie company will do just fine.

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