Mission and History
As a leading 100% employee-owned company, Employee Owned Brands have been serving customers for more than 100 years. Headquartered in Fairfield, Iowa, with over 1200 employees, our companies have a rich heritage of delivering high-quality, innovative products and services to our customers and business partners. Our unique company culture empowers employees, creating a highly efficient, service-oriented environment where excellence thrives.
Our legacy began with an ambitious young inventor named W.H. George. In the late 1800s as washing machines began to gain popularity, Mr. George decided that he could improve on the existing designs and capabilities. He quickly built several hand-powered washer models, and the business began to grow in size and prestige. The Dexter Company was formed in 1894 and began manufacturing wringer washers for the general public.
In 1912, as the business operations outgrew the original factory, the company was relocated to Fairfield, Iowa, where the Dexter Laundry headquarters and manufacturing operations remain to this day. Since then, manufacturing operations have expanded beyond laundry to include additional manufacturing, financing and distribution channels.
In 1987 the employees of Dexter purchased the company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Over preceeding years, the employee ownership facilitated growth through acquisitions. In 2006, Apache Stainless was acquired and Dexter Apache Holdings, Inc. was formed. We grew again in 2008 with the acquisition of Leer and in 2011 we grew further with the acquisition of Crystal Group. In 2021, Dexter Apache Holdings was re-branded to Employee Owned Brands to better highlight the common thread running through our businesses and better scale as we continue to grow.
By diversifying our business interests and applying the ownership culture, we’ve made ourselves a leader in every industry that we’ve entered. Our business structure has allowed us to succeed while providing our customers with a high level of service and satisfaction that’s not found at most businesses today. Contact us to find out how our employee owners can help grow your business.