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The owners of Chuck & Don's, the growing Twin Cities pet-supplies chain, are gradually turning over control of the fast-growing pet-supplies retailer to employees.

The Star Tribune reports on the process, launched by chain owners Bob Hartzell, and Chuck Anderson four years ago. Both men are in their 70s and were looking for a way to turn the business over to their employees and prepare for their retirements, so they set up an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

By 2020, employees who work at least 1,000 hours per year (about half-time) will have enough stock that they'll control more than 50 percent of the company. At that point, an independent trustee will set up a new board of directors.

Chuck & Don's posted revenue of $67.5 million last year. With a growth rate of nearly 34 percent since 2014, it made the Business Journal's Fast 50 list for the first time this year.

By Mark Reilly, Managing Editor, Minneapolis/St. Paul Buisness Journal