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WinCo Foods, Inc. is an American supermarket chain with its own distribution and transport network that includes an employee family of shops.

Right in 1967, a discount store was founded in Boise, Idaho in the name of Waremart by two businessmen, Ralph Ward and Bud Williams. It was a non-free food shop in warehouse style that focused on low prices. Mr. Ward acquired Mr. Williams' interest in this enterprise over and over; Waremart has developed into a small food chain, especially in the Pacific North-West. In the 1970s, the WAREMART transformed into a supermarket that was regionally known for the low rates, flat carts and fat pencils used for prices on each item by its customers (two of which are gone now, but not the low prices).

The entire business was vague and unfamiliar in the 1980s after Waremart's founder passed away. The workers loved the business, they loved their clients and they didn't want their stores to go. But what could they do? What could they do? There weren't wealthy investors or rich entrepreneurs. They were hard workers who loved their job and who loved their hometowns.

For the Waremart employees, only one choice was available - to join forces and take over their company. Win Co Foods' Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was established in 1985, headed by then company president Bill Long, and a control stake in the company was purchased by the Ward family. Waremart worker men and women worked hard. With these hard-working people, 17 stores were owned and looked after a business with employees came into being.

In 1998, a new grocery and distributor facility in Woodburn, Oregon, was opened in WinCo Foods. All stores owned by the company were serviced at the time. The company's own distribution center has helped WinCo Foods to control better their costs and product prices and create hundreds of jobs in Woodburn, OR. This distribution center has represented a significant step forward in the upcoming growth.

In 1999, a change and a new name were expected. It was important for the employee organization that the new name of the company came from its workers. The new name - WinCo Foods - was decided following a company-wide contest and voting. WinCo Foods would continue to succeed under its new name.


With WinCo Foods, three more distribution centers would be opened and one non-food warehouse would allow the company to expand. CA allowed the expansion in 2004, which focused on California, to open a DC at Modesto. ID allowed WinCo Foods to expand into Utah in 2009, with the opening of a new DC in Boise. This success would take place in the next decade. In 2014, by opening a distribution hub located in Phoenix, AZ, WinCo Foods was able to improve its service to stores in southern California, and to focus on its Arizona and Las Vegas expansion.

WinCo Foods is one of the largest ESOP companies in the country and trusts the benefits of employees in their entirety. By becoming a founding member of Certified Employee Owned, a partnership between companies devoting their time to building a voice for employee ownership, WinCo Foods continued to promote employee ownership in August 2017. Certified staff works to bring employee-owned companies together with a common brand which raises national awareness of their ownership and provides its members with a source of differentiation.

WinCo currently employs nearly 15,000 people and has 100 stores

 in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. The company eliminates operating costs by buying directly from producers and suppliers, running simple shops, and does not have luggage service. In's list of the biggest private businesses in the United States, WinCo Foods had been at number 59 in June 2020.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 7:00 - 22:00
Tu 7:30 - 22:00
We 7:00 - 22:00
Th 7:30 - 22:00
Fr 7:00 - 22:00
Sa 7:00 - 22:00
Su 7:00 - 22:00

Locations: 123 locations in 20 states and 106 cities.


  • Grocery Stores

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