CASE STUDY: When Married Owners Strategies Differ

Tom wanted to grow the business rapidly with outside investors and Nancy preferred downsizing the business to retain majority ownership and control

The Thompson Companies is a specialty retailer of children toys. Tom and Nancy Thompson founded the business in 2002, together shortly after they were married. The business started out as a hobby, but rode the wave of a strong economy and flourished enough for both of them to leave their full-time careers and dedicate themselves to the new business. As the business grew, both were in agreement on most business issues.

The business came to a crossroad. More…

Forastiere Family Funeral Homes: Still Changing After All These Years

Forastiere Family Funeral Homes:UMass
Still Changing After All These Years

Related Matters Newsletter
Summer 1995

Forastiere Family Funeral Homes was founded in 1905 and presently has locations in Agawam, East Longmeadow, Springfield, and Southwick. Ira Bryck, director of the UMass Family Business Center, conducted this interview with co-owner Peter Forastiere, his parents Anthony and Sylvia Forastiere, and fourth-generation members Elayne Forastiere Smith and her husband, Mark Smith.

Peter: Our business was started by my grandparents, Frank and Carmella, Water Street in Springfield, which is now Columbus Avenue. In those days, they did not have funeral homes; they worked out of a storefront. Everything from the embalming to arrangements with the family to visiting hours took place in the family’s home. Gradually these services shifted to the funeral home. My grandfather purchased our first location in 1933 on Locust Street. In 1959, my father did a major expansion and modernization doubling the funeral home in size. More…