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Bob takes care of his employees

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High Five
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

While he easily could have sold his company, Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, made the surprising move to pass full ownership of the company onto his 209 employees.

Under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, employees with at least three years tenure are now fully vested.

"This is Bob taking care of us," said Lori Sobelson, who helps run the business' retail operations. "He expects a lot out of us, but really gives us the world in return." Moore declined to say how much he thinks the company is worth. In 2004, however, one business publication estimated that year's revenues at more than $24 million. A company news release issued this week stated that Bob's Red Mill has chalked up an annual growth rate of between 20 percent to 30 percent every year since.

"In some ways I had a choice," Moore said of what he could have done with the company he founded with his wife, Charlee, in 1978. "But in my heart, I didn't. These people are far too good at their jobs for me to just sell it."

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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