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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • ND grocery store workers are now store owners

  • Joe Lueken says that it's his way of thanking the workers for helping him make his 46 years in business a success.
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  • Employees of a Wahpeton grocery store have elevated from being workers to owners.
    Joe Lueken owned the Wahpeton Econofoods but decided to sell the store to his workers through an employee stock ownership program. The ownership shifted to the workers Sunday.
    Lueken tells the Forum newspaper that it's his way of thanking the workers for helping him make his 46 years in business a success.
    He's doing the same with two more stores in Bemidji, Minn. He says he considered selling to a grocery chain for more money but decided against it.
    Employee — and now part owner — Janea Ries says that workers are "taking on something great" and is excited that the business is becoming employee-owned.
    She says the workers will take pride in what they have.

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