Company Name: Jackson’s Hardware Inc.

Location: San Rafael, CA

Nature of Business: Hardware store

Founded: 1964

Revenue: $18.3 million

Number of Employees: 63

Average Tenure: 10 years

Anyone who’s shopped at Jackson’s Hardware will tell you there’s something special at work here. In an era where Big-Box encroachment has nearly eradicated the local neighborhood hardware store, Jackson’s, which was founded in 1964, has survived to see handfuls of competitors come and go while their loyal clientele keep growing in number. Chalk it up to great character, a comprehensive ownership culture and a dedication to employee development. Making the most of each of its 63 staff, Jackson’s drives individual performance through seminars and workshops, arguing that employee competence spells success for their customers. A distinctive pride in the company is apparent when you walk in the door: all associates own stock in the business (in fact, the whole company went to Hawaii to celebrate the final pay-off of ESOP debt). Each has input into how he or she can add value to the business; the average tenure at Jackson’s is over a decade. From complimentary work shoes and electric toothbrushes to 100% health coverage for staff and dependents, employees know Jackson’s is always there for them, and customers always remember where to go for their next fix-it project.

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