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Selling the Business to the Employees

South Carolina Business Review logo

Companies that choose to be employee-owned through something known as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP are relatively rare in our state and probably nationwide. But our next guest recently decided to use this strategy to sell the business he cofounded.

Mike Switzer interviews Michael Weeks, president of DWG Consulting Engineers in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.