Smucker’s: Putting Family First

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Smucker’s is one of the top companies in the world, responsible for some of the most delicious treats. The secret to their success is not only old family recipes, but family traditions as well.

It all began in 1897. Jerome Monroe Smucker of Orville, Ohio pressed cider at his mill, which was made from a family recipe. With great success he later made apple butter that he sold from a horse-drown wagon with his son, Willard. Each jar came with his personal guarantee, which was a hand-signed seal.

Today the J.M. Smucker’s Company has been around for more than a 110 years

It’s an $8.75 billion business with 4,500 employees. Their products vary from peanut butter and preserves to syrup and ice cream toppings. It now includes other familiar brands like Pillsbury, Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts. According to Fortune, the Smucker’s Company has been named one of their top 500 companies and one of the best big companies to work at.

Smucker’s continues to be a family-run business

They have had five chief executives in the past four generations: J.M. Smucker (1897-1947), his son Willard (1948-1960), his son Paul (1961-1987), and, currently, his two sons Timothy and Richard. Businesses like theses are very rare. Reports say that 90 percent of American businesses are family-owned. However, only 30 percent of these companies have family leadership that survives into the second generation, 12 percent last into the third generation and only 3 percent last in the fourth generation or beyond.

Family members are not only found in leadership positions. Younger Smuckers have worked as laborers in the factories, truck mechanics, and janitors within the company. Smucker’s is also invested in Mindful practices. They follow five basic beliefs: ethics, independence, growth, people and quality. They pride themselves on building and expanding their employees’ careers. And they even give every new employee a booklet with advice from former chief executive Paul Smucker.

To learn more about this company, consider visiting the Smucker’s website.