Company Story Collection

A Yard & a Half Landscaping

In 2014, workers became the owners of A Yard and A Half Landscaping, an organic landscaping company based in Waltham, MA, with a workforce of 35. Founded in 1988, the transition to a cooperatively owned and operated LLC was the fulfillment of a five year plan by the founder to increase the leadership and managerial skills of workers for succession. In retiring, she exited with the rewards of the sale and the knowledge that her passion to create a work environment that empowered personnel would continue. The company has since grown and has added revenue streams to increase off-season work after the desire was voiced by the new owners.  Learn more

Metis Construction

In 2015, the employees of Metis Construction, a 36-employee residential and commercial building company in Seattle, WA , became participants in an employer ownership trust that holds the business’ assets in perpetuity on behalf of the workers. The business was founded in 2007 by a builder who believed that the pride of shared ownership would reinforce the sense of craft and shared responsibility he saw exhibited in employees’ work. The seller remained on as an employee and one of the owners and has seen business literacy and engagement in key operational issues increasing from his new co-owners. Learn more

A Child’s Place

A Child’s Place is a 50-worker daycare center in East Elmhurst, NY, that began in 1979 and is planning to transition to an employee-owned cooperative corporation in 2018. The founders have pursued employee ownership to preserve their mission of quality, family-centered care, while also resisting the rapid gentrification of their neighborhood. The business has had an essential role in the neighborhood’s fabric for over a generation. While the business assets will be sold, the founders will retain ownership of the property and lease to the business, establishing a positive long term partnership between the previous and new owners. Learn more

Rock City Cafe and Roastery

Rock City Roasters is a 25-worker café and roastery in Rockland, ME, that became a cooperative corporation in 2018. The founder started the business in 1992 and saw in the sale an opportunity to reward workers for their efforts building the business, assurance that the café’s character as a main street community center would continue, and an ongoing revenue stream by financing a portion of the transaction’s loan herself. Workers in the rural Maine region are often tempted to leave for opportunities elsewhere, but the new employee owners of the café are investing for the long term. Learn more

A Slice of New York

A Slice of New York is a 33-employee cooperative corporation consisting of two retail pizzerias in San Jose, CA. The owners began preparing to exit the business after 10 years but felt a strong loyalty to their longstanding employees. They had seen the positive incentives of broadly held stock in previous tech industry jobs and embraced practices that shared surpluses with workers, culminating in the business sale. The transition took over a year and was completed in 2017. One of the selling owners continues as the general manager of the cooperative for a phased exit and has become an advocate of the path for other businesses in the region. Learn more

The New School of Montpelier

The New School of Montpelier is 45-employee cooperatively owned school that serves students with severe disabilities in Montpelier, VT. The private business was founded in 2005 and began exploring options for the owner-director to exit as she looked ahead to other projects. Driven to find an option that ensured the highest quality service, the business was sold to its employees in 2015. To avoid interrupting state licenses, the legal entity was maintained. The state regulator that granted renewal in 2016 noted that the employee-owners’ governance of the school was “unusual yet apparently quite effective.” Learn more