ESOP: A Year Later

By: Cassidy Stockton | February 18 2011
Tuesday, February 15, marked the one-year anniversary of Bob's announcement that he was handing ownership of Bob's Red Mill to his employees. When the announcement was made, we had no idea how inspiring people would find this. Obviously, the employees were blown away by the announcement, but the rest of the country seemed to follow suit, as if they, too, had received a piece of Bob's Red Mill. After a year of reflection and still quite a lot of interest from the media and our customers, I feel privileged to work at Bob's Red Mill and so lucky to call these people my family. This story is more unique than most of us realized at the time. There are only about 1,100 employee-owned companies in our country. This is truly the exception of how to do business, where the rule seems to be "sell the company and move on." A question I get at every event I attend is, "Who runs the company now?" That's easy: Bob! Of course he still runs the company and we wouldn't want it any other way. Truly, it's a team effort that involves everyone in this company, but Bob is still the thriving ringleader of this whole grain circus. We now have a team of stakeholders who help steer decisions that affect our company, but the day-to-day aspects of our company haven't changed a bit. Our stakeholders are just as vested in the success and quality of our brand as the rest of us and have no intention of changing the way we do business. If anything has changed, it's the incredible pride each employee takes in their job. Knowing how seriously people take their jobs here, I didn't think it was possible, but I'm certain that everyone is working harder than ever to do their best. I've never worked somewhere that people loved so much. Ask anyone and they'll tell you with a beaming smile why they love their job here. It's an incredible place to call home and I can't wait to see where the future takes us. Thank you for making this possible. Bob wouldn't have had anything to save or pass on to us, if not for you. Each time you buy a product, you cast a vote that affects the world. Thank you for voting for us and a world where whole grains and health take priority. [caption id="attachment_3555" align="aligncenter" width="526"] Thank you from all of us at Bob's Red Mill[/caption]


  1. Cathy Nehl
    great article.
  2. Bruce Seifer
    Do you put on your packages, signs, etc., that you are employee owned like King Arthur Flour does?
    1. Cassidy Stockton
      Some of our newer packages do state "Employee Owned Company", but we've yet to roll it out onto all packages.

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