Stephanie Petit
December 27, 2016 01:56 PM

Vacation days have a slightly different meaning for the employees of Bertch Cabinets.

To reward its employees for a successful year of business, a cabinet manufacturing company in Iowa announced it will take over 800 employees on a Caribbean cruise in January.

“We leave Jan. 8,” company president Gary Bertch told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “We’ve got four charter aircraft that will be flying directly to Miami Sunday and staying at a nice five-star hotel. Then on Monday, we’ll bus over from the hotel to the port and load up on the ship.”

From there, the week-long vacation on a Carnival ship will make stops in Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, Florida.

The company announced the vacation on Facebook.

“Bertch is excited to announce a company wide vacation!” they wrote on Dec. 20. “We will be closing all facilities January 9-13 so we can set sails for the sunny Caribbean! This trip wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our incredible Bertch associates!”

Bertch said he offered the tropical getaway as a incentive to meet goals set forth by the company, which was  founded in a barn in 1977, more than a year ago.

“We were anticipating we’d have better sales again this year,” he said. “We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals.”

The company periodically rewarded its employees with a vacation starting with a trip to Acapulco in 1989; another took the company to Hawaii. However, the practice stopped in 2005 ahead of the recession that hurt the business until last year when they were finally in the black again.

“We’re happy we were able to achieve our goals. And they’re never easy. The financial goal was the big one,” he said. “We hit the other goals. Not by much. But we hit them. We’re looking forward to the following year.”

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