In Heritage Specialty Foods, the Hendrens saw an opportunity to get back in the business they loved. The Kharifs recognized the Hendrens had the experience they needed. It turned out to be the perfect recipe for a successful family business.
The 2019 award for Family Harmony recognizes this unique partnership between two families and two generations with one mission.
Lunch was where trust and personal relationships formed, leading to a common vision for the business.
“We need soup in these kettles!” Ron proclaimed early on.
Under the old model of making dumplings, a batch took five hours. Soon they turned out three or four batches in the same amount of time.
Lori chopped vegetables. Lana washed the dishes. Semon peeled potatoes.
“We started working together,” Lori recalls. “We spent time getting to know each other.”
They discussed each decision, big or small, even buying a spatula.
“The communication between all of us was the key,” Lori says.
Progression was possible because family members recognize each other’s strengths and talents. The Hendren’s son, Shane, who operated a food cart, was recruited in 2011. Shane’s passion for innovative flavor combinations allowed the business to create recipes for customers. And when distributors couldn’t deliver on Heritage’s standards for quality and customer service, more family members were brought in.
Lana’s husband, Ryan Slezak, who worked in banking, and the Hendren’s son Alec, an air traffic controller, left professional careers to launch Heritage’s distribution division.
Ryan had never seen a business where everyone sat at the same table to make decisions.
“Everyone knew what was going on. Everyone helped each other,” Ryan says. “I was glad to join the business and be in that kind of atmosphere.”