2 of 6
BACKNEXT
Full Sail Brewing Co.
Full Sail Brewing Co.
Full Sail brewmaster Jim Kelter (left) and lead brewer Barney Brennan displayed the first case of newly-released Session Black in June.
Chief Executive Irene Firmat and her brewmaster husband James Emmerson converted their business, Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Ore., to a worker-owned company in 1999. Firmat said they wanted to avoid being bought by a larger company and "incentivize the [47] people already working there."

Now, 55 of the 90 workers are partial owners, and she said this arrangement has helped the company find ways to save money and increase profits in the face of a recession.

Last year, when the brewery faced soaring commodity costs, she said that owners from different departments agreed to buy efficient new machines that saved on expensive raw materials. This year, the owners agreed to accept smaller margins and make new hires even as job cutting became rampant nationwide.

"The decision to live out this time with smaller margins was supported by our investors -- our employees who were implementing this strategy and seeing results daily," she said. "I think it would have been far different if we had a more traditional ownership with disengaged investors just seeking shorter-term results."

NEXT: Isthmus Engineering & Manufacturing

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Sep 23 2009 | 11:41 AM ET
More Galleries
San Francisco: The best city to make things From electric motorcycles to death shrouds, San Francisco's manufacturing sector is booming. More
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.