She Sold Her Co-Working Business and Joined a Giant Competitor. Here’s Why.



a couple of people that are set up on a chair in a room


© Courtesy of Office Evolution




Shelley Bade posing for the camera


© Provided by Entrepreneur



Shelley Bade was an early adopter of coworking spaces. In 2009, she and her business partner, Jill Pogrant, launched a coworking company in Phoenix and grew to three locations with 200 members. But when the national franchise Office Evolution expanded into the Phoenix area, Bade and Pogrant worried they couldn’t compete. So they decided to join forces and become Office Evaluation franchisees. In November 2018, just as they were converting their businesses, tragedy struck: Pogrant passed away after a battle with breast cancer. Bade was grief-stricken and terrified of embarking on the franchisee journey alone but was relieved to find support at Office Evolution. Throughout that process — and now, during the tragedy of COVID-19 — she says the company has made sure she is taken care of. 

Your first months as an Office Evolution franchisee must have been really difficult.

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Before Selling Her Craft Beer Business to a Beverage Giant, She Sold It to Employees



a woman smiling for the camera: Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing.


© Matt Nager
Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing.

In 2019, Kim Jordan sold New Belgium Brewing–after spending years distributing equity to every member of her staff.

Editor’s note: The story of New Belgium Brewing’s sale is part of a series on Inc. 5000 companies making a big exit. The other articles in the series describe the exit strategies of two other companies: Home Chef and Nutanix.

  • Humble Beginnings: Jordan co-founded New Belgium Brewing in 1991 with her then-husband, Jeff Lebesch, who ran a homebrew operation out of their Fort Collins, Colorado, kitchen.

  • A Business Role Model: New Belgium, an Inc. 5000 honoree in 2010 (No. 3,482) and 2013 (No. 4,804), began sharing equity with staff in 1996; it became 100 percent employee-owned in 2012 and a certified B Corp in 2013.

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Bartell Drugs, a local, family-owned business for 130 years, to be sold to Rite Aid for $95 million

After months of pandemic-related financial strain and years of uncertainty over its future, Bartell Drugs, one of the oldest companies in Washington state and one of the most familiar names in the Seattle business community, is being sold.

The 67-store regional drugstore chain, which has been owned by the same family since its founding in Seattle’s Central District in 1890, will be acquired by Rite Aid for $95 million, the companies announced Wednesday. 

“We felt that this was the only answer,” said George D. Bartell, co-owner and chairman of the company his grandfather, George H. Bartell Sr., founded 130 years ago. “It was getting more difficult for regional operators to compete in the market.”

Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid, which has about 2,500 stores in 19 states, including 69 in and around Seattle, will keep the Bartell name on the stores. It disclosed no plans to close stores or cut any of

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