WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 31, 2012, 04:52 PM

Whapeton grocery workers are now "owners"

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- Wahpeton grocery workers are now "owners".

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- Wahpeton grocery workers are now "owners".

Econofoods owner, Joe Lueken is handing over his long-time business to his employees. Five stores between Minnesota and North Dakota will be split up between workers through a stock ownership program.

The decision came after Lueken announced his retirement, but didn't want to sell to a chain. Wahpeton's store manager says they didn't see it coming.

Bary Bower says, "I think it came as a surprise to everyone, I mean, you don't hear most anybody doing it. And yeah, it was a shock to us when he said he was going to go to an employee owned company."

At 10, reporter Andrea Hubbell takes us to Wahpeton, to meet the new owners, and employees who have been there since day one.