After several years of research and consulting, Kris and his two partners were ready to convert Essential Ingredients to an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) and sell the company to its employees. After announcing it to the team, the 15th anniversary party quickly turned into a crash course on employee ownership and a day of education around what this decision meant for all of them.
“It was one of the most fun and meaningful moments of my career,” says Maynard. “We spent the next few days really explaining the program and why we did it. We could’ve sold to a competitor or private equity firm, but we didn’t want the people who helped us build this business to wind up as collateral damage.”
Essential Ingredients has grown exponentially since that moment in 2011. A chemical distribution company, Essential Ingredients provides raw materials to every corner of the United States, finishing last year with over $114 million in revenue. It has 85 employees across its five distribution centers and Atlanta headquarters, and in 2017, Essential Ingredients was named a Forbes Small Giant: Best Small Companies in America.
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