How Does This Family Run a Sustainable Business and Make a Profit?

John Sr on the left with an unknown customer circa 1960; image courtesy of State Garden
The Family Business Voice
How Does This Family Run a Sustainable Business and Make a Profit?

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Since 1938, the DeMichaelis family has built their business on a foundation of societal sustainability — prioritising suppliers, employees and consumers.

The loyalty and trust they’ve received in return have made their business — State Garden — what it is today: one of the largest repackagers of organic salad greens in the Northeast US.

On this episode of the Family Business Voice, we spoke to Mark DeMichaelis about the importance of relationships, how trust eases transitions, and how these values are passed to the next generation.

– Societal sustainability is part of State Garden’s culture. Mark saw how his father and aunt treated suppliers and customers with the utmost respect, and models those behaviours for others.

– State Garden’s good standing with suppliers was a critical part of the transition to organic, as farmers needed to trust DeMichaelis’ forecast that organic would be more profitable in the long-term.

– For the most part, Mark and his two brothers ‘divide and conquer’. John mostly looks after operations, Kevin oversees sales and Mark provides the general direction for where the company is going, giving each the independence to do what is needed. For bigger decisions, however, the brothers only move forward unanimously.