33 Well-Known Companies Creating Equity Through Employee Ownership
Christopher Arnold

July 9, 2021

33 Well-Known Companies Creating Equity Through Employee Ownership

employee owned restaurants hospitality

How popular is employee ownership?

Whether in the form of an ESOP or co-op, employee ownership is more common than you might think.

According to a 2018 article in the Harvard Business Review, about 10% of Americans hold equity stakes in their workplaces. That accounts for the upwards of 14 million employees who are vested employee-owners.

(Colorado alone is home to over 120 employee-owned businesses.)

We’ve written before about the benefits of transitioning to employee-ownership for workers, the selling owners, and the company itself. Employee-owned companies tend to grow faster, stay more resilient, and provide greater quality of life.

We’ve also highlighted the potential of employee-ownership to confront economic injustice by allowing members of historically marginalized groups the ability to secure better jobs and build assets for themselves and their families.

But sometimes it’s hard to know when a movement is happening if you don’t know where to look.  

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 33 well-known brands that are creating equity and promoting a more inclusive economy through the power of employee ownership.

Agriculture, Food, and Drink

  • Sunkist
  • Ocean Spray
  • Welch’s
  • Sunkist
  • Ocean Spray
  • Welch’s

Construction and Engineering

  • W.L. Gore & Associates (Gore-Tex)
  • Amsted Industries
  • Hensel Phelps Construction
  • Parsons Corporation


  • Alpine Bank
  • Robert W. Baird & Co
  • D.A. Davidson Companies

Grocery Stores

  • Publix
  • Hy-Vee
  • WinCo Foods
  • Brookshire Brothers


  • HealthPartners
  • Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • EmpRes Healthcare Management


  • True Value Hardware
  • Ace Hardware
  • REI


  • The Associated Press
  • Best Western
  • Penmac Staffing
  • Lifetouch Photography
  • Recology

Some of these businesses are cooperatives, and some are traditionally-structured firms with an employee stock option plan.  

What they have in common is that they are all examples of how employee ownership can be used across firms of all industries and sizes in order to promote an economy that works for everyone.


If you’re interested in exploring how your own business can create equity while reaping the benefits of employee ownership, schedule a free consultation with us.

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