Since its humble beginnings in 1971, The RAM Family of Restaurants and Breweries (The RAM) has grown to include three different brands spread across six states: The RAM Restaurant & Brewery in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Illinois and Indiana; C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery in Colorado; and CI Shenanigans in Tacoma, Washington. Not too shabby for a little company that started in Lakewood, Washington.
It’s always been a family-owned business, but the family just got bigger. The RAM is now an employee-owned company. The announcement of this “Holiday Bonus” came as a surprise to The RAM team as word spread last Friday of their good fortune.
The company officially announce on Monday that 2,000 of The RAM’s team members acquired this ownership through a newly formed Employee Ownership Stock Plan (ESOP). Stock is allocated to team members over time at no cost to them. The Iverson brothers, Jeff and Dave, will continue to lead and grow The RAM along with the senior leadership team.
“It’s very exciting to become an employee-owned company,” said Dave Leonard, Director of Beer for The RAM. “We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary of brewing in 2015 and our brewery program allows for continued expansion into new markets. Our brewers make The RAM special with their creativity and personality. It’s awesome to gain equity as our company grows and prospers.”
It’s still fairly rare in the brewing world, but The RAM is not the first brewery to give it’s employees a stake in the game. Other company’s offering Employee Ownership Stock Plans include Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon; Full Sail Brewing of Hood River, Oregon; New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado; and Harpoon Brewing of Boston, Massachusetts.
“The ESOP is our opportunity to give back to our outstanding RAM restaurant team and to tangibly recognize their commitment to the company and to our guests,” said Dave Iverson, Chief Operating Officer of The RAM. “We wanted to share with all of those who have helped us in achieving the success we enjoy.”
In the a press release the company explained that after observing the growing in popularity of ESOPs among breweries and restaurant groups alike, the Iversons recognized that employee-owned companies evolve and grow for the better. As a result, they elected to implement an ESOP to create that “ownership culture” in their own restaurant and brewery locations. The ESOP structure will allow The RAM to remain independent and dedicated to its mission of providing superior quality food and ice-cold craft beers in its community-focused restaurants.
“For over 40 years we have focused on building family-oriented restaurants that contribute to the communities they serve,” said RAM President Jeff Iverson. “Forming an employee-owned company was another way for us to give back to the community, and it recognizes the hard work of each and every team member who has helped grow The RAM into the award-winning family of restaurants it has become,” Iverson added.