Will Raap understands that the creating of a new economy is a complex endeavor. "Green" products manufactured with care for the environment are an important element of the new economy story -- but only a part. Sharing profits with those who labored to make the products is another part of the rebalancing of our economic system to one that is fair and sustainable. And then with the financial capacity that the new wealth creates, investing in the restoration of ecological capital in the region, planning and acting for future generations.
In 1983 Will Raap founded Gardener's Supply Company (http://www.gardeners.com) in Burlington, Vermont with a vision to create a business where people, planet, and profits are equally important. At the same time he was providing tools so that people could raise their own food and enjoy doing it at the same time.
In December of 2009, Gardener's Supply became 100 percent employee-owned. Raap began selling shares to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Program in 1987, allowing all employees to earn stock and participate in company profits.Selling Gardener's Supply to the employees kept the business in Vermont, and gave employees the opportunity to become owners of an enterprise they helped build, something Raap felt was critical when he started the company.