WinCo Foods can trace its beginnings back to 1967 when Ralph Ward and Bud Williams founded a discount warehouse grocery store in Boise, Idaho under the name of Waremart (from our warehouse roots, we have evolved into the great discount, value channel supermarket we operate today). The company operated stores under the names of Waremart Food Centers and Cub Foods until 1999 when it changed its storefront name and the corporate name to WinCo Foods, which stands for Winning Company.
In 1985, the WinCo Foods Employee Stock Ownership Trust (Employee Pension Plan), headed by then president Bill Long and with full support of store personnel and management, purchased from the Ward family a majority interest of WinCo, giving WinCo employees a real ownership stake in the company. The company continued its rapid growth and by 2000 had replaced a majority of its retail stores with updated and expanded facilities.
In 1998, WinCo opened a new 900,000 square foot grocery and perishable distribution center in Woodburn, Oregon and in May of 2000 opened a 110,000 square foot health and beauty, gourmet and non-food distribution center in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. More recently in June of 2004, WinCo opened an over 700,000 square foot grocery and perishable distribution center in Modesto, California and in 2009 another one in Boise, Idaho that allowed for an expansion into Utah.
In October 19th of 2009 WinCo started its expansion into Utah (the first venture into a new state since the purchase of 1985) by opening the first two ever WinCo Foods stores in the state on the same day (Midvale City and West Valley City). Then in 2010 the company opened a store in Orem, Utah; marking the return to an area it once occupied under the banner of Waremart Food Centers. Later in the year it continued to expand its presence in the state by opening in new cities such as Ogden and Roy. While experiencing this successful expansion WinCo Foods also solidified its presence in known areas such as Vancouver, Washington by opening its fourth store in the city.
For over 40 years WinCo Foods has fostered a tradition of success by focusing on very large stores with a wide selection of national brands at prices below our competition. In addition, the very nature of having employee stockholders that have seen their Employee Stock Ownership Plan (Pension Plan) grow at a 21.51% annual compound growth rate creates an extremely dedicated workforce. This has made WinCo a very successful company, one which in 1998 was listed as #266th on Forbes Magazine’s List of 500 largest Privately Held Companies and recently in 2011 holding to the 66th spot on the list.
WinCo is continuing this record of success, now operating 98 Employee Owned Stores in eight states (Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona and Texas) with nearly 15,000 employees and continues to grow by opening new stores and adding new members to the company every year.