It’s easy to make the case that family-owned businesses are a pretty large engine for the U.S. economy: They make up 64 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. About 62 percent of us work for one, and they create 78 percent of new job creation, according to a recent university study.
And Oklahoma City is chock-full of robust family businesses: Like Victoria Kemp and her mom Florence, who have operated Florence’s Restaurant for 70 years this month and who just earned the state’s first James Beard award.
Or the Lopez family, operators of Lopez Foods, which is the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned protein processing company, and who have produced food for McDonald’s for decades in Oklahoma City.
Or take the founders of Plenty Mercantile, who started a decade ago and will open their fourth and then their fifth location this year.
Or how about Home Creations – started by immigrants from Iran – who are now transitioning the homebuilding company’s leadership to the next generation. We could go on and on.
They aren’t just integral to our economic engine either, they’ve also got a lot of institutional knowledge on how a business, family-business or not, should run. Take a look at three more companies – with a combined 265 years of business in Oklahoma – who tell their story and give advice on how they’ve navigated successes and setbacks, transitions and industry changes for generations, all while weathering the ups and downs of growing a business while keeping it all in the family.