Employees of local business become co-operative owners

STONINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- A group of employees from three stores between Stonington and Deer Isle, all owned by the same company, feared they might lose their jobs with the owner of 43 years decided to sell. So, they took matters into their own hands and bought the company, themselves.

Forty three of the 65 employees at "Burnt Cove Market" and "V&S Variety" in Stonington and "The Galley Market" in Deer Isle came together to become the new co-operative owner of the three businesses.

They were offered the opportunity by the original owner and after two years, they finally had enough business support and loans to be able to purchase the stores, something they call a dream come true.

"It means a lot, what we're doing, it's our future. If we didn't do this then someone from away would've come in and bought the businesses and their would've been a lot of changes," says 25 year employee and Treasurer of the new Co-operative Board, Deanna Oliver.

The new cooperative owners signed their contract on June 11th. They say they are nervous for the future, but plan to keep things just as they've always been.

As for the retired owner, he says -- even after 43 years -- he still wants to help out at the businesses as much as he can, but now you can also find him on the golf course more often.


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