In 1959, Wilbur Feagan and Paul Higley pooled their resources and founded F&H Food Equipment Co. in Springfield, Missouri. Initially, they primarily catered to small independent dairies and cheese plants. They traveled around in panel trucks with parts and supplies on hand, orders to be delivered, and relationships to build.
With the passage of time, the landscape of our business has changed. Small independent dairies and cheese plants have been replaced by, or integrated into, larger processors with newer technology and economies of scale. F&H has successfully adapted to the changes in the industry, but one thing remains the same – we value the relationships we have with our business partners.
For many years, our motto has been “We Care”. Our ability to help when needed has increased our growth and allowed us to partner with many successful companies. In the early 1980’s we opened our second facility in Springdale, Arkansas. Several years later, our third facility opened in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by a fourth location in St. Joseph, Missouri.
In 1998 F&H acquired Special Products, a national supplier of sanitary food processing equipment and supplies, which aided the ongoing increase of our product offerings. In 2007 another F&H branch was added in Tulare, California which opened the door to exponential growth along the West Coast. Within the past 10 years F&H has established additional branches in Seattle, Portland, Dallas, and Memphis.
Throughout the company’s history our message remains simple and consistent — whether you are a small entrepreneur or a large corporation, we are ready and willing to help. Operating in North America and representing more than 50 manufacturers allows us to provide the best products in our industry. We are confident we can provide solutions that will meet your needs.
In 1995, under the leadership of Wilbur Feagan, F&H initiated an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and became a 100% employee-owned company.
Common characteristics of employee-owned companies are increased economic growth, employee retention, and overall success of the business.
There is nothing magic about employee ownership. Employee ownership does not guarantee success, or prevent or cure business problems. However, experience and research have shown that employee owners have a different attitude about their company, their job, and their responsibilities. That attitude makes them work more effectively and increases the likelihood that their company will succeed. Fundamentally, employee owners are more accountable for their job performance and of their coworkers’ because they have a common stake in the success of their company.
It’s a simple formula: if employees perform extraordinarily well, company performance is more likely to be extraordinary. This translates into high stock value for the employees. As someone once said, “ownership is a powerful incentive for ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”
But not everyone is aware of this power. Even some employee-owned companies have not realized the full potential of employee ownership. This is not a matter of employees just owning stock, but of employee ownership at work.
Stockholders alone do not build companies — employees build companies, and employee owners build great companies. For more information, please visit The Employee Ownership Foundation website.