reported by MSNBC
and several other media outlets including Good Morning America, Today, and the Huffington Post, a retiring Bemidji grocer decided to transfer ownership of three stores to his employees, beginning January 2013.
Joe Lueken, owner of Lueken's Village Foods, received multiple offers from large grocery chains as he pondered retirement, but chose to implement an employee stock ownership plan instead, giving the stores to his roughly 400 employees.
“My employees are largely responsible for any success I've had, and they deserve to get some of the benefits of that," Lueken told the Star Tribune. "You can't always take. You also have to give back."