Litehouse sold to employees

by Monica Watrous
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Litehouse makes refrigerated salad dressings, dips and cheeses.

SANDPOINT, IDAHO — Litehouse, Inc., a manufacturer of dressings, dips and cheese, has been sold to the company’s employees through an employee stock ownership plan. Family owned for 50 years, Litehouse first established the plan in 2006, when it sold a 30% stake of the business to employees and effective Dec. 22, 2014, has moved to 100% employee ownership. The company has 650 employees throughout the country.

“We are incredibly proud of our company and want our legacy to be shared with the talented and dedicated employees who have contributed to its growth,” said Doug Hawkins, co-founder and chairman. “The move to 100% employee ownership allows every employee to be an owner and ensures the future success of Litehouse for generations to come.”

Litehouse makes refrigerated salad dressings, veggie dips, sauces, instantly fresh herbs, blue cheese, caramel and fruit dips, glazes and fresh-pressed apple cider at three facilities based in Michigan, Utah and Idaho. The brand was founded by brothers Doug and Edward Hawkins and merged with Wendell Christoff’s family dressing company, Chadalee Farms, Lowell, Mich., in 1997. Doug and Edward Hawkins and Mr. Christoff will continue their roles as active board members, and Jim Frank, president and chief executive officer of Litehouse, will retain his position.

“We are excited to have created this opportunity for our employees, and we are confident that the E.S.O.P. will make us an even stronger company,” Mr. Frank said. “The success of the Litehouse brand and the move to a 100% employee-owned company is a strong reflection of our founders’ guiding principles: faith, stewardship, integrity, commitment to excellence and accountability.”
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