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Oakes Farms owner to give longtime employees a branch of his business

Alfie Oakes, owner of Oakes Farms and Seed to Table, is giving longtime employees a chance to own part of his business. Oakes says he doesn’t want his political views to get in the way of the company’s success.

“Our Oakes Farms Food and Distribution business is the first of our Oakes Farms company to go into employee ownership,” said Oakes.

Alfie Oakes has announced that he’s stepping down from one of his companies – Oakes Farms Food & Distribution Services. He says it’s more about his employees than it is about him.

“For me, it’s always been not as much about me but about the team and our employees,” Oakes said.

He says giving this part of his business to employees that have been with the company for 15 years or more is something he has wanted to do but, he felt like this was finally the right time.

“I felt with all that’s going on in the world right now, and my political future, that I might be doing a detriment to all the great employees that have worked in distribution and built it up,” said Oakes.

You may remember, in 2020, that Alfie Oakes posted on Facebook stating that the pandemic was a hoax. His political stance eventually resulting in The School District of Lee County backing out of one of its contracts with Oakes Distribution.

Now, Oakes is saying he wants his employees to feel a sense of security, despite his political aspirations. “I want them to feel confident in their job and work and the direction of the company and not have any of my political aspirations get in the way of it,” Oakes said.

While Oakes doesn’t know if this new ownership model will help or hurt his legal issues, he is still looking forward to his new endeavor.

“That’s not really the reason we are doing this at all but, it may or may not,” he said. “It’s primarily minority-owned right now. I’ve always looked at our employees as being our greatest assets.”

Oakes says the end goal is to have all of his establishments owned by his employees.

He says he is not collecting a salary or any benefits from the distribution business. They are also working to create a board of directors which, he says, he will likely not sit on.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Drew Hill
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