KING ARTHUR FLOUR
In 1790, there were 13 states in the new United States. George Washington was America's first president. And Henry Wood began importing flour from England, establishing his business at Boston's Long Wharf. Henry Wood & Company, the original ancestor of King Arthur Flour, was the first flour company in the young United States - and first food company in New England.
1849: SAN FRANCISCO SOURDOUGH: FEEDING THE MINERS
Gold was discovered in northern California in 1848, and the rush was on. Hungry miners developed naturally fermented "sourdough" as a way to bake bread. And in 1849, The French Bakery became the first shop in San Francisco offering sourdough bread for sale.
169 years ago, delicious bread was made from the same starter that we use today. At Rêver Artisan Bakery, you get nothing but time honored and time tested ingredients. Simply the best!
2016: KING ARTHUR FLOUR: EMPLOYEE-OWNED COMPANY OF THE YEAR
Ten years after becoming employee-owned, King Arthur Flour was named National ESOP Company of the Year, a coveted award honoring the company that best exemplifies the business and cultural success of employee ownership.
Since 2004, King Arthur Flour has been 100% employee owned. After a year on the job, workers begin to earn stock in the company. This nest egg helps employee-owners secure a better retirement and gives them a clear interest in the company's success.
"Because everyone has a stake in it, we know we're working not just for the company but for ourselves," says Rosie, who's part of the merchandise team that selects which products King Arthur Flour sells. "No matter what, people feel like they can speak up and ask questions and offer advice."
LAUGH, DO WHAT YOU LOVE, AND BAKE OFTEN
Rosie often sees this collaborative culture firsthand. As a company full of bakers, many employee-owners share their latest discoveries with the merchandise team. If someone finds a better kitchen gadget, a clever new cookbook, or a pantry staple at a lower price — anything that will improve the experience of baking for our customers — those products can wind up in a future catalog or in our online store.
"AS AN EMPLOYEE-OWNED COMPANY, WE'RE NOT BEHOLDEN TO OUTSIDE SHAREHOLDERS WHO CARE ONLY ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE."
We have the freedom to emphasize other values, too, like social and environmental responsibility, and the wellness and satisfaction of our employee-owners. That's why King Arthur shares its profits both inside and outside the company. We invest in sustainability, support community groups nationwide, and offer every employee 40 hours of paid volunteering time per year.