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…

This Family Farm Is Here To Stay

THIS FAMILY FARM IS HERE TO STAY
WILSON FAMILY FARM

Family Business Quarterly
Northeastern University Center for Family Business
Interview with Jim and Don Wilson
By David E. Gumpert
Gumpert Communications, Inc.

In our fast-paced online and wireless world, we can easily forget that there was a simpler time in the early and middle twentieth century when Lexington, MA and the surrounding towns were family farm communities. Those farms were mostly unable to cope with the emergence of suburbia and have disappeared, their lands turned into suburban homes. Except for Wilson Farms. In its early days a nondescript member of the community of small farms, Wilson Farms is today planning for involvement of the fifth generation of Wilsons. It is at once an agrarian artifact and a retailing powerhouse. In an average week, 16,000 customers seek out its fresh produce, flowers, and prepared foods. In this interview with Family Business Quarterly editorial advisor David E. Gumpert, two generations of the Wilson Farms family, Don, (72) and his son, Jim (49), ponder the richness of the farmÕs history and the challenges associated with preserving that history for future generations of the family. More…