A Hard Look at Surviving Multiple Generations

A Hard Look at Surviving

Multiple Generations

an interview with Doug Renfro of Renfro Foods

In 1940, with the Depression still a vivid memory, George Renfro took a big risk for a man with a family. He quit his job selling restaurant supplies and condiments. With little more than sheer determination and the support of his family, George and his wife, Arthurine, co-founded George Renfro Food Company in the garage of their north Fort Worth home.

With annualized growth of 10% for more than half a century Mrs. Renfro’s salsa now ranks as one of the nation’s top five best selling salsas distributed by specialty food distributors.  They manufacture and distribute more than 100 products, including 25 Mrs. Renfro’s products to all 50 states, western and eastern Canada, the Caribbean and United Kingdom.  This third generation business is one of the nation’s five largest family-owned and managed salsa manufacturers and the nation’s largest producer of chow chow, a Southern relish made of garden vegetables, vinegar and spices. Today, the second generation, Bill and Jack, along with grandchildren Doug, Becky and James who are active in the day-to-day operations at Renfro Foods, and its Mrs. Renfro’s label, continue to grow at a fast pace. More…

The Group Throne

The Group Throne
by Ira Bryck

Two brothers listened intently to the compelling words of their dear, departing father. “You both worked very hard in our family business. You did your jobs well and you each struggled to show me how you could lead this company one day. Sorry, but I just couldn’t pick one of you above the other. Finally, I’ve made my decision. I want you to both be presidents…Co- Presidents. But listen up: if and when you can’t agree, when you’re in absolute deadlock, call my brother Michael in California. I know you never liked him, but he’s a smart guy. He’ll listen to both sides, and then decide.

No surprise that these two leaders strove to cooperate ceaselessly, never wanting to gamble on the uncertain pronouncements of Uncle Mike.

It is quite a challenge to run any business. What makes a family business even more intense is that your business partners have notions about you (and you about them) formed in the Wonder Years, that just won’t quit. They can’t see how you’ve grown…and maybe you haven’t…because of the box they’ve placed you in. More…