THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Monday, January 10, 2022

JTW Podcast: The Bob’s Red Mill ESOP Story

Two years ago (almost to the day) we went hunting for potato starch to make “karaage,” that is, fried chicken the Japanese way, which requires dredging in potato starch for the very best results.  (Trust us.  Use potato starch.  It’s like a potato chip coating on the chicken.)


We looked in several stores and finally found a bag of “Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch (Unmodified).”  When we started making the chicken, we noticed something we hadn’t seen when buying the package: “An Employee-Owned Company.”

That got us curious, so we looked up Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods.  It turns out they have an ESOP, and really play up the worker ownership angle in their marketing:

Proudly Employee-Owned.  Just imagine showing up for work one day as a company employee and leaving as an owner. That dream came true for the employees at Bob’s Red Mill on Bob’s 81st birthday. Rather than receiving gifts, he decided to give his greatest gift away — ownership in his business. Bob surprised all his employees by creating an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) and making everyone an employee-owner.  For those who know Bob, it's yet another example of his kind-hearted generosity. As Bob puts it “It was just the right thing to do. I have people that have worked with me for over 30 years and each and every one of them deserve this.’ You can rest assured that every Bob’s Red Mill employee is committed to sourcing, milling, testing, packaging, labeling and selling the finest products available. After all, it is our business.  It’s so obvious, it’s not. That thing you make — That thing you love — It should be a good thing. After all, isn't that the point? Isn't that why we're here? To help one another. To add something. To make folks a little happier, a little healthier for doing what you do? We are Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. Good Food for All.”

Of course, the ESOP only works if you work for a corporation that has one.  What the Economic Democracy Act would do is allow everybody to use the Kelso techniques to become a capital owner.

Oh, you wanted today’s podcast?  It’s a short video produced by the Employee Ownership Foundation featuring Bob’s Red Mill:


You must click on the link below to get to the video, not on the photo.

Bob’s Red Mill

(The links right above are what you're supposed to click on.)


And if you want the playlists for previous videos:



Economic Personalism (The Book)


Economic Personalism v. The Great Reset


Book Reviews and Other Things


Socialism, Modernism and the New Age