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Employees over Profit

Litehouse does it again

As part of its bold ambition to be the Employer of Choice in each community it operates, Litehouse has recently increased the pay for all hourly Employee Owners. The company continues to provide an annual pay increase to our Employee Owners whose dedication and commitment move the business forward every day.

With the pay increase, hourly Employee Owners at Litehouse earn a minimum of $17 an hour with an additional $3 an hour for the afternoon and night shifts. Forklift Operators earn a minimum of $18.75 an hour and Maintenance employees are paid a minimum of $25 an hour.

In addition to its competitive pay structure, Litehouse continues to offer a leg up over the competition with its structure as an Employee-Owned company. Each year shares of the Company’s stock are distributed to its Employees that help operate the business. As a result of these contributions, Litehouse’s Employee Owners can create sizable retirement accounts that provide a great benefit for their future.

All Litehouse Employee-Owners that have been with the company since the foundation of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2006 all have six figure account balances that continue to grow.

Research shows that employee-owned companies have greater employee engagement, longevity, and productivity. Additionally, ESOP’s experience fewer layoffs and have higher retirement benefits.

“The founders of Litehouse believed that all of the people who make Litehouse great deserve to benefit in its success,” said Kelly Prior, CEO. “Through the transfer of ownership to the Employee’s and the creation of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Litehouse employees share the hard work and rewards of building this great company.”

On top of its Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which the company contributes to every year, Employee Owners can further prepare for their retirement through a a pre-tax traditional 401(k) and a post-tax Roth where employees direct their own investments using available options and a company match of 3% into ESOP shares.

As a leader in refrigerated salad dressings, dips, sauces, cheese, and other innovative consumer packaged goods, Litehouse employs over 1,200 employees in facilities based in Idaho, Michigan, Utah and Virginia. Litehouse Employee Owners have the opportunity to kickstart their career with established career paths and Litehouse’s promote-from-within culture.

“We’re growing quickly, which gives our Employee Owners exciting opportunities to take on new challenges and have a significant impact on our company’s future,” said Prior.

A career at Litehouse offers comprehensive benefits including the choice of a PPO or HSA plan where Litehouse pays 75% of the cost of the employee health premiums and the employee pays the remaining 25%. Other great benefits include gym membership reimbursement, lucrative paid time off, paid maternity and parental leave. In addition, Litehouse is piloting a Childcare Program in Sandpoint, Idaho that includes guaranteed spots and a childcare subsidy.

Since its early days, Litehouse has been driven by its core values of stewardship, integrity, commitment to excellence and accountability. Litehouse recognizes that people in their communities are what make them strong, so they have a duty as citizens to give back. Through their High 5 initiative, Litehouse commits to giving at least 5% of the company’s net income to support causes that help meet the basic needs of children (food, shelter, education, and safety).

“We have grown from a small restaurant to a thriving business with a strong portfolio of branded products, and we owe it all to our valuable Employee Owners,” added Prior. “Pride of ownership, idea sharing, and giving Employee Owners a voice thrives within our organization and this leads to high engagement and superior products.”

To learn more about a career at Litehouse, visit

About Litehouse: In 1949, chef Ed Hawkins developed a blue cheese dressing formula after his boss complained about the poor quality of the blue cheese dressing that they served on salads. In 1958, Edward and his wife purchased Hurschell's Lighthouse restaurant on the shores of the Lake Pend Oreille. People enjoyed the dressing served at dinner so much, they would bring in empty jars to fill with dressing to take home. Soon, the first jars of Litehouse Salad Dressing were sold. Over the next 50 years, Litehouse grew and expanded to the strong portfolio of retail products they have today.

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