Winco WInS is a is a 9-week Business Customized Training (BCT) Program run in partnership with Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR), Columbus Community Center, and WinCo Foods.
In 1967 two Boise area businessmen, Ralph Ward and Bud Williams, founded a no-frills warehousestyle grocery store focusing on low prices called Waremart.
In the 1980’s, after the passing of Waremart founder Ralph Ward, the company went through a period of uncertainty regarding the future of the organization. The employees loved the company, customers, and community they were a part of and didn’t want to see their store go away. For the employees of Waremart there was only one option–join together and take ownership of their stores.
In 1985, under the guidance of then company president Bill Long, the wonderful and hardworking employees of Waremart established WinCo Foods’ Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and bought a controlling stake in the company from the Ward family. And so, with 17 stores owned and operated by these working men and women, an employee-owned company was born.
In 1999, Waremart held a company-wide contest to change its name. A vote was cast and Waremart was officially changed to WinCo Foods.