Who Are The Top Employers And Businesses In Winston-Salem?

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Texas Pete bottles on shelf in store up close.
Texas Pete Hot Sauce was invented here in Winston-Salem by Sam Garner and introduced in 1929.

Winston-Salem, NC, is the home of several historic brands whose families helped build the city, like the Reynold family (tobacco) and the Hanes family (textiles). It is also where many famous food brands got their start, including Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Texas Pete®.

Winston-Salem is growing and becoming home for many businesses and companies. These enterprises provide employment, spur economic growth, support our tax base, and make a city a desirable place to live. The city attracts companies of all industries and sizes because of Winston-Salem’s central location and educated workforce. We have prominent businesses headquartered here, companies with major operations, and many large employers. Here are some of Winston-Salem’s larger companies.

Businesses Headquartered In Winston-Salem

Reynolds American

Reynolds American is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., American Snuff Company, LLC, RJ Reynolds Vapor Company, Modoral Brands Inc., RAI Services Company, and Reynolds Marketing Services Company. Their products include Camel, Newport, Natural Spirit, Pall Mall, and Lucky Strike brand cigarettes, as well as Vuse (vapor), Velo (modern oral), and Grizzly (traditional oral). Reynolds American became the parent company when R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company combined with British American Tobacco. It was founded by Richard Joshua “R. J.” Reynolds, son of a tobacco farmer. He became one of the wealthiest residents in North Carolina. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company helped establish the “Tobacco Road” from Virginia through the North Carolina Foothills, Triad, and Piedmont, sustaining the livelihood of hundreds of tobacco farmers and towns like Tobaccoville, NC. Reynolds American employs 2,500 people in Forsyth County.

HanesBrands, Inc

Hanes Brands store front signage up close.
Hanes, a major corporation in Winston-Salem, was founded by wealthy businessman John Wesley Hanes in 1900 under the name Shamrock Knitting Mills.

HanesBrand is a clothing company comprising Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, L’eggs, Just My Size, Hanes Hosiery, Barely There, Wonderbra, Maidenform, Berlei, and Bonds. HanesBrands spun off from parent company Sara Lee in 2006. The Hanes companies were the center of textile mills in the Winston-Salem area, which boomed following the decline of tobacco farming. HBI employs 51,000 associates in 32 countries and has built a strong reputation for workplace quality and ethical business practices. Hanes is the leading basic apparel brand in the United States. A leader in sustainability, HBI launched 2030 goals to improve people’s lives, improve the planet, and produce sustainable products. They have a workforce of 2,400 in Forsyth County.

Inmar, Inc

Inmar, through data and technology, helps businesses meet consumers’ personalized needs. They have been a trusted partner to brands, retailers, and healthcare systems since 1980. They offer insightful solutions to services such as returns management and processing, liquidation and remarketing, supply chain performance analytics, consumer care solutions, sustainability practices, and other areas of expertise. Inmar strives to be recognized for innovation, work ethic, and extraordinary service. Inmar employs 950 people in Forsyth County.

Garner Foods

Garner Foods, established in 1929, is best known for its legendary hot sauce, Texas Pete®, which a member of the Garner family created. In addition to the original Texas Pete®, Garner now offers two new flavors, ¡Sabor!, a Mexican-style hot sauce, and CHA! Sriracha sauce. Also, a Garner product is Green Mountain Gringo® Salsa. It is a non-GMO verified item, one of the freshest jarred salsas available. All Garner food products are certified Gluten-Free.

Financial Services Companies With Major Operations

Truist Financial Corporation

Truist is an American bank holding company formed in 2019 as a result of a merger of BB&T and SunTrust banks. It offers consumer and commercial banking services, asset management, mortgages, insurance, and more. Truist is the ninth-largest bank in the United States by assets. They have a workforce of 4,000 in Forsyth County.

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo is an American multinational financial services company. Wells Fargo & Company was founded in 1852 to provide “express,” and banking services to California and now has national and international offices. It offers consumer and commercial banking, loans, mortgages, investing, credit cards, and other services. Wells Fargo is the fourth-largest bank in the United States by assets. Wells Fargo employs 3,500 people in Forsyth County.

Major Employers In Winston-Salem

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is an outstanding academic health system based in Winston-Salem. Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, and combined, they are the fifth-largest non-profit health system in the United States. Atrium Health is comprised of two main components. A clinical system that includes Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, more than 300 primary and specialty care locations, and 2,700 physicians; and Wake Forest School of Medicine, a leader in experimental medical education and ground-breaking research. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has a workforce in Forsyth County of 18,570.

Novant Health

Novant Health is an integrated network of hospitals, physicians’ clinics, outpatient facilities, and more. Their promise of delivering remarkable health care goes beyond their facilities, supporting health and wellness programs within the community. They work to provide healthcare that is easy to access, easy to schedule, and easy to understand. Their services include family medicine and primary care, imaging, neurology and neurosurgery, pediatrics, orthopedics, women’s health, and more. Novant Health employs 11,010 people in Forsyth County.


AT&T is a provider of telecommunications, media, and technology services. The company serves individuals and business enterprises and offers wireless communications, local and long-distance telephone service, internet service, and more. It also develops, produces, and distributes films, television, gaming, and content in digital and physical formats. AT&T in Forsyth County employs 2,000 people in its communications business.

Collins Aerospace Interiors

Collins Aerospace is now a world leader in designing, developing, and manufacturing cabin interior products and services. Based in Winston-Salem, Collins Aerospace Interiors’ product line includes aircraft seating, cargo systems, evacuation systems, galley and galley inserts, and more. They are combining modern design and innovative technology for a best-in-class cabin experience. Collins Aerospace Interiors in Forsyth County has a workforce of 1,500.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme sign.
The first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store opened in Winston-Salem on July 13, 1937. The “Hot Now” sign lets people know that the Original Glazed Doughnuts are freshly made and hot.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, though not high on the list of major employers, got its start here in Winston-Salem and has earned a place on this list. They are an American multinational doughnut company and coffee house chain. They feature an array of doughnuts, including seasonal items, but they are best known since 1937 as the Home of the Original Glazed Doughnut. Their Hot Now sign is a fixture and a call to sample the warm, fresh goodness of the glazed doughnut. Though corporate operations moved to Charlotte, NC, Winston-Salem retains Krispy Kreme World Headquarters and maintains the Krispy Kreme Support Center. Krispy Kreme in Forsyth County employs 460 individuals.

Well Known Local Companies

Cook Medical

Cook Medical has a manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem. Working closely with doctors, Cook develops technology that eliminates the need for open surgery. They invent, manufacture, and deliver a collection of minimally invasive medical devices to the healthcare community. As a family-owned company, they demand the highest quality standards, ethics, and service, focusing on patients, their employees, and the community.

Dewey’s Bakery

Dewey’s Bakery opened its first shop in downtown Winston-Salem in 1930 and became well-known for its thin, crisp Moravian cookies. In 1955, they moved to their location in Thruway Shopping Center, where they are today. Their famous cookies come in many flavors, including sugar cookies, chocolate, Meyer lemon, triple ginger, and salted caramel. They are also known for their delicious sheet cake slices, like Pink Lemonade Cake. In 2010, Dewey’s opened a commercial bakery in our city to manage the demand for their cookies. They also have a second bakery location in Winston-Salem.

  • Thruway Shopping Center, 262 S Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC
  • 336-725-8321
  • Reynolda Manor, 2876 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC
  • 336-724-0559
  • Dewey’s Bakery Website

Reynolda House Museum Of American Art

The Reynolda House Museum, built in 1917, was originally the home of Katharine and Smith and RJ Reynolds, founder of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Now, the historic house is on the National Register of Historic Places as a surviving example of one of the American Country House Movement. Housing 6000 historic objects and a collection of well-known American Art, the museum also has special exhibitions in the Babcock Gallery. The beautiful formal gardens surround the estate, with the entrance being the Greenhouse with its central domed palm house. Reynolda Village, also part of the estate, was a collection of abandoned farm buildings and cottages, now a thriving commercial center.

Other Significant Employers

There are many jobs available in Winston-Salem thanks to our businesses. There are a number of business parks in Winston Salem located along Business Park Drive. They include commercial businesses, company offices, healthcare facilities, and light industrial.

Another major group of employers in our city are our educational institutions. As a group, they employee a workforce of close to 10,000 individuals.

  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
  • Wake Forest University
  • Forsyth Technical College
  • Winston-Salem State University

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau of Central and Northwest North Carolina keeps track of our many businesses. The BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior and monitors compliance. They help consumers identify trustworthy businesses and those that are not. The BBB will answer questions about and give you unbiased and verified information about businesses. In addition, consumers have a source to turn to when they feel a company has treated them unfairly. BBB is also your source for information on scams. Using their Scam Tracker, you can research scams and report them. Here is the BBB Website.

Small Businesses That Make Winston-Salem Thrive

Let’s remember our multitude of small businesses keep our city alive. Spread throughout the county, these employers provide services and products to those of us who live and work here, not to mention employee people as well. Restaurants, gift shops, pharmacies, gas stations, grocery stores, department stores, clothing shops, and many more contribute to Winston-Salem’s business landscape. While we are grateful for the major businesses that call our city home, support of our local small businesses is paramount. Visit the casual restaurantsconsignment shopsart galleries, and other businesses that make our city great.

Do you work for one of the major businesses in Winston-Salem (or would you like to)? Share in the comments!

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