Grocer Gives Business to Hundreds of His Employees

Joe Lueken retires and hands over his store to those best in position to manage it.
3:15 | 01/01/13

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Transcript for Grocer Gives Business to Hundreds of His Employees
All right, we'll continue now. Talk about a holiday bonus. The owner of a group of grocery stores in the midwest is handing over the keys to his entire business to all 400 of his employees making all of them part owners of the business. So why is joe liukin turning over the reins instead of selling? Take a look. ♪ Auld lang syne ♪ Reporter: In "it's a wonderful life," a small town businessman with the biggest heart in all of bedford falls. The bedford falls of the midwest could be bemidge ji, minnesota and their george bailey has to be joe liukin. Finding everything. Yes. Reporter: Joe owns a group of grocery stores in minnesota and had north dakota and has been the boss for 46 years. Right here. Reporter: Also the hardest worker making sure that every item is in place, sharing many laughs along the way. And while age and parkinson's have barely slowed him down at 71 joe finally decided he was ready to retire. But what to do with all his stores? Joe turned to his four sons but none of them live in the area anymore. He looked at me and said i have a great idea, let the ployees own the business. Reporter: Esop, he's handing over his business to all 400 of his employees for free. With no doubt I could have earned more money but the employees have it it's a win/win situation for everybody. Reporter: It was his way of giving back to his workers. He credits them for his company's huge success over the years. For him to do a gift like that, I got good bumps. Rocking awesome. Quite a few wows.Alking down the aisle, we've been blessed in every possible way. It's a gift to be able to share that now. Reporter: But early on times were tough. We have two babies and we were getting tired of running out of money a week before paychecks came in. Reporter: His hard work and drive paid off and his mom and pop shop grew into a mini empire. These days joe still gets in his car before dawn to get to work by 4:00 a.M. Every morning. There's one joe lueken in the world. I could never replicate what he has done. Reporter: Brent started as an overnight janitor. Now he's about to get the keys to joe's king dom. We want to keep doing what joe did. It's up to us t make the company stronger than it was. We have big shoes to fill. I didn't do this. The girls did this. Reporter: While joe takes his final b ochows as the boss, one thing is for certain, the new owners will always welcome joe back. I think that is the perfect legacy that my dad has built up. We go from store to family to a much larger family. I want to emphasize, he is giving his business -- multimillion dollar business. To his employees. Oh, that we could all work for a joe lueken. Coming up, we're looking

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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