Horn Photo is now an Employee Owned


A little history for you history buffs:

Horn Photo has been a family owned business since 1937.  It was started by the Horn family, and run out of a little store on Belmont Ave.  It survived through the depression, the recession, and other difficult times.  In1991, the Horns’ convinced Stan and Shelly Grosz, who were frequent customers,to purchase the business.
Under Stan and Shelly’s ownership,the store moved to three different locations. Each space bigger and better than the last.  They grew Horn Photo into a thriving business that supports 20 employees.
Peter Horn with customer in 1959 on Belmont Ave.

Camera stores suffer mass extinction

When all of the other Central Valley mom and pop camera stores went out of business because of big box stores and on-line camera stores, Stan and Shelly navigated through these challenges,and found creative ways to make their business hugely successful.


For years, Horn Photo has been a favorite place to go for many local photographers. The employees genuinely want the customers to feel at home in the store. 
Stan and Shelly understand and appreciate the value that their employees have added to the growth and success of Horn Photo.  They felt that it was a good time to shift their business to their employees.

1. What does it mean to be an employee-owned business?

It means just that.  Each Horn Photo employee now owns shares in the business.  The value of their stock will grow as Horn Photo continues to grow. They will be able to share in the profit while they are working, plus they will have a valuable asset upon retirement. 

2. What is the purpose of being an employee-owned business?

It allows a successful business to continue to thrive after the owners have retired.   The team of dedicated employees have always been the greatest strength for Horn Photo. Passing the business on to the employees is a way of honoring their hard work and preserving the company’s legacy for generations to come.

3. Will there be a lot of changes?

YES!  The name badges on your favorite employee.  That’s it.  It will include the words Team Member &Owner.  
Other than that, NO! You shouldn’t notice any changes. The staff will remain in their same positions, and you will be able to receive the same products and services that you have always expected from Horn Photo.

4. Was this some sort of coup?

No!  The employees did not rise up and establish a hostile coup.  It was a decision that owners Stan and Shelly Grosz made. The employees had no idea this was going to happen. They were surprised and delighted to learn that they are no longer simply employees, but they are team members and co-owners of Horn Photo.  

5. How does a company become employee-owned?

In the case of Horn Photo, an organization that specializes in transitioning successful small family owned businesses into employee owned businesses has made this happen.  This organization is called Teamshares.

6. What is Teamshares?

Teamshares is an organization that buys a portion of a company from owners who want to retire, but want to protect their employees who have worked so hard to build their company’s legacy.   Teamshares initially purchases and owns the majority of the company.  However, during a period of time, the business will transition to 80% employee-owned.  Teamshares agrees that they will never sell the the business to a third party.  
Teamshares provides it’s businesses with leadership, software, and technical training and support for all team members.
Teamshares has helped over 50 businesses across the country transition to employee-owned businesses.  
What does Teamshares get out of it? They make money when the business is successful.


7. What’s going to happen to Stan and Shelly?    

Stan and Shelly Grosz are still very much part of Horn Photo.  During the next few months, until a new leader has been selected and trained, they will continue to provide the same services to our customers.  Stan and Shelly are leaving their business and legacy in very good hands.  
They are looking forward to spending more time with their grandchildren, and working on their farm.  They’ll always have Horn Photo in their hearts.

Thanks for reading!

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