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Balls Food Stores Transfers Ownership To Employees

David Ball on stage at anniversary celebration
David Ball takes the stage at Balls Food Stores' 100th anniversary celebration.

Balls Food Stores will transfer ownership of its 25 grocery stores to the company’s employees, building on its founder’s legacy of creating a teammate-centric culture.

The decision to form an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) coincides with the Kansas City-based grocer’s 100th anniversary.

Crowd scene from Balls Food Stores' anniversary celebration“My grandfather and father taught me that if you take care of your teammates, the teammate will then take care of the customer, and the customer will take care of the business,” said David Ball, the third-generation president of BFS.

“By making our teammates owners, we’re preserving the company’s culture and values, while creating a sustainable growth strategy for Balls Food Stores. Most importantly, we believe this will be a game-changer for everyone who works at BFS, something that will impact them for generations to come.”

Balls Food Stores owns Hen House Markets, SunFresh Markets, Payless Discount Foods and 13 of the area’s 52 Price Chopper stores. All stores are in the Kansas City metro area.

[RELATED: Balls Food Stores Opens Price Chopper In Kansas City, MO]

An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan established as a trust, where current and future employees receive beneficial ownership in the company over time. Eligible employees will receive allocations of company stock with no out-of-pocket contributions, helping them strengthen their financial security while allowing the company to invest in its people.

“It will be business as usual and everyone’s roles and responsibilities will remain the same. We’ll continue to be a teammate-centric, customer-focused company committed to the communities we serve,” Ball said.

David Ball’s grandparents, Sidney and Molly Ball, opened their first grocery store in 1923 in Kansas City, Kansas. Fred Ball, David Ball’s father, led the company from 1975-2000, at which time the younger Ball became president.

100th anniversary celebration

Ball Food Stores closed all of its stores at 5 p.m. June 25 to allow all 2,600 employees to celebrate its anniversary – and announcement of the ESOP – with a party that included a car giveaway at the Overland Park Convention Center.

[RELATED: Balls Food Stores Celebrates 100th Anniversary]

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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