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Micky Gramlin
Member Since: 10/9/2014

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Micky Gramlin   My Press Releases

A Family Business

Published on 10/9/2018
For additional information  Click Here



The year was 2001. In 1999 I had decided to go into business for myself and bought a concession stand on a trailer and a mid size school bus that we converted into a camper that pulled the stand. Two out three of my sons joined me … my oldest and my youngest. The name of the business was John Henrys.

We sold a variety of food fare, but the cotton candy was our best seller. We kept busy. During the summer, from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day we provided concessions for a beach located inside a National Forest, south of Bloomington , Indiana.

When we pulled out of the park, we would then begin the festival season that ran thru New Years and stayed local. We usually took January off, then February thru April, traveled with a flea market that hit all the major midwest cities for the weekends

We were making a living and enjoyed what we were doing, but there was no money left to invest. I had pulled 5k out of my original investment money and had put it into a savings account …  and kept my eyes out for a money maker.

One week we discovered a concession product presentation at Gold Medal Foods in Indianapolis and my oldest son, Matthew really wanted to go. I did not want to go but went anyway. Both sons were hard workers and contributed all of the physical work required to operate the business.

When we arrived, we went our separate ways, thinking we could cover more if we separated. About lunch time here comes Matthew and he was all excited about buying a machine for a glazed nut business.

“A what?”

He replied, “A machine that cooks nuts.”

I calmly asked him, “How much?”

“Only $5400!”

“$5400! That’s outrageous!”

But he was insistent and against my better judgement I spent that last bit of money I had saved back. Matthew was ecstatic but I figured I would permanently be on "Pepto Bismol".

But to make a long story short, the nuts were a hit. But then one weekend, we ran out of the glaze that we bought from Gold Medal. Everything came to a standstill.

Matthew read the list of ingredients and went out and bought what we needed for the glaze … I’m thinking that this is not going to work. But you know, he came up with a much better recipe and we grew by leaps and bounds. Overnight we went form a surviving business into a bustling, growing business.

We decided to convert the concession stand over to small factory. The state inspector said he had never had a request like it, but gave us a temporary okay to open and do business.

Matthew became the “Operations Manager” and Benjamin became the “Production Manager”. Life was good until a family tragedy changed our course. We lost Benjamin on Memorial Day weekend, 2006

But putting that aside, for those of you that may have a son or a daughter involved with your business and actively working it, encourage them to speak freely of their ideas. It could change the direction of your business and put you in the scheme of things.


Thank you for stopping by!


Micky Gramlin






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