01.08.15 // Wood Stone Becomes Employee-owned Company
For Immediate Release:
Wood Stone Becomes Employee-owned Company as Parent Company, Henny Penny, Announces ESOP
Bellingham, Wash. (Jan. 8, 2015) – Henny Penny, parent company of Wood Stone Corporation, today announced at a meeting with 600+ employees that, as of December 30, 2014, the company became employee-owned through the sale of its stock to a newly formed employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The transaction ensures that Henny Penny and Wood Stone, previously owned by the Cobb family, will remain privately held. Steve Cobb, currently Chairman of Henny Penny, will continue in this role.
Wood Stone is the leading global manufacturer of stone hearth and specialty cooking equipment. Wood Stone, founded in 1990, is located in Bellingham, Wash. It was acquired by Henny Penny in January 2014. Henny Penny is one of the country’s leading designers and manufacturers of premium foodservice cooking, holding and display equipment for thousands of restaurants, supermarkets and institutions around the world. It was established in 1957 in Eaton, Ohio.
“This is an exciting and historic day for Henny Penny, Wood Stone and our employees,” said Steve Cobb. “Our employees always have been and will continue to be the key to our success. Without them, we would not be where we are today. They are now empowered, more than ever, to ensure the continuation of the exciting success we have earned and enjoyed.”
There will be no changes in leadership or operations for either Wood Stone or Henny Penny. Kurt Eickmeyer, President of Wood Stone, will continue in his position as will all current members of its senior leadership. Rob Connelly, announced last October as President and CEO of Henny Penny, will continue in his position as will all current members of its senior leadership.
According to Eickmeyer, “We will continue with business as usual, which for Wood Stone means that we will maintain our commitment to quality, innovation and customer service. I am excited for Wood Stone’s future as an employee-owned company and I look forward to continuing our journey as one of the leading manufacturers in our industry.”
About Wood Stone: Wood Stone Corporation, based in Northwest Washington state, has been manufacturing stone hearth and specialty cooking equipment for the foodservice industry since 1990. Wood Stone Corporation has built its reputation on its family of stone hearth ovens. Its technologically advanced ceramics and engineering expertise, coupled with the high quality construction techniques and attention to detail are typical of all Wood Stone products and relied upon by its loyal customers such as Wolfgang Puck, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and California Pizza Kitchen. For more information on the company, visit www.woodstone-corp.com.
About Henny Penny: Henny Penny continues more than 57 years of innovation that began in Eaton, Ohio, U.S., with the first commercial pressure fryer in 1957. Today, Henny Penny offers a wide range of high quality foodservice equipment designed for easier operation, greater flexibility and lower operating costs. Product lines include pressure and open fryers, combi ovens, rotisseries, holding cabinets, and display merchandisers. These products and complete start-up, service, training and technical support, are available through Henny Penny’s exclusive worldwide distributor network. For more information on the company, visit www.HennyPenny.com.