“[I]n our family, leadership positions, titles, and company ownership are not just handed to you because of your last name.”
-Emily Martin, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.
Emily Martin is the fourth generation of the Martin family of the Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread business and is already dipping her toes into the family business. Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc has been around since 1950 and was founded from the one car garage of Emily’s great grandparents, Lloyd and Lois Martin. Today, this humble company has grown from being sold at farmer’s markets to now producing the #1 Branded Hamburger Bun in America.
But how has this company continued to thrive over multiple generations? Emily attributes the success of the company to each prior Martin generation dutifully preparing the succeeding generation to lead the company.
Emily recalls being involved in the business from a young age, from earning seasonal internships, to working in the bakery itself, and even participating in annual family meetings that presented opportunities for marketing and growth of the company.
However, she notes that each member of the family who wants to be involved in the family business must learn the Martin company’s brand and values, work various positions, form relationships with other employees, and even choose some of the organizations and ministries the company donates to.
While the Martins have worked on a successful plan, the reality is that most families only have a 30% chance to pass down their business from one generation to another. This is attributed to a lack of vision and mission that united the family, inadequate communication and absence of trust, and failure in preparing future generations to take over.
Preparing your family to take over is important beyond passing down a business. You need to prepare your children to take over the family mission, to be able to defend their values, and to be equipped themselves to pass on the legacy once you are gone. This isn’t accomplished overnight, but rather simply in the small moments of the day, through encouraging your children, teaching them your family’s values in what you say and what you do, and most importantly, through supporting them along their walk with God.
"You need to prepare your children to take over the family mission, to be able to defend their values, and to be equipped themselves to pass on the legacy once you are gone."
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