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Keeping it in the Family



Story by Gay Lyons | Photography by Britt Cole

Sense of pride. Mutual respect. Shared values. Trust. Collaboration.

These themes emerged in all our conversations with the parents and offspring featured in this story about local family-owned businesses.

No one regrets the decision to “keep it in the family.” They have all found strength in working together to grow the family enterprise. As Bridget Reymond, second generation owner of Eddie’s Health Shoppe, put it: “”People sometimes say to keep business and family separate, but I disagree. Having someone you can trust and who has your best interest at heart is extremely important when it comes to running a business.”

EDDIE'S HEALTH SHOPPE

Eddie Reymond opened the first Health Shoppe in Halls in 1996 with a partner and opened the store in Suburban Center a couple of years later. Ultimately, the partnership ended with the partner keeping the Halls store and Eddie keeping the west Knoxville location. Daughter Bridget gradually joined her father in business and is now in charge of the new downtown location and their chocolate business, ZenEvo.

“Initially I just wanted a place to work during college for a few hours a week,” said Bridget. “Even though I was interested in health and fitness, I didn’t necessarily see working at the store as something I would do long term. However, after only a couple of months I found my hours and duties increasing and increasing, and working at the Health Shoppe was something I loved and was passionate about. By the time I graduated from college, I knew I was truly committed to working in the family business; I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the shoppe, and I knew I would want to create a business of my own, just like my dad.”

“I was surprised and also amazed by how interested she was and how hard she worked,” said Eddie. “It was basically like seeing a ‘mini Eddie’ in the making.” “Working with Bridget has been amazing,” he continued. “Although she has been learning from me, I feel like she has helped me immensely in bettering myself and teaching me how to be more open minded and making me more efficient. We make a great team now; it is truly a pleasure working with my daughter.”

“I went from not knowing anything about the job to an assistant manager position to opening up my own store,” said Bridget. “At first I would help people find the right supplements and work on small tasks like restocking and facing product, then gradually started placing and receiving orders, bringing in new products and running our social media.”

“Our business is constantly changing, and trends in our industry change,” said Eddie. “That has been our strong point of being able to adjust, make changes and see the trends before they happen. The entire health and fitness industry has grown tremendously in the last 20 years but by the same token obesity has increased so there is still a lot of opportunity.”

“I love being able to help people find products to satisfy their needs,” said Bridget. “It’s such a great feeling when someone you have helped comes back into the store and lets you know that your suggestion worked well for them, or, better yet, that it changed their life. I also love being able to research and buy new products to try since I am a bodybuilder myself. It’s basically like being a kid running a candy store.”

CRUMPTON FAMILY DENTISTRY 

Reid Crumpton did not expect his daughter Brianna to join his practice. In fact, he encouraged the math whiz to consider a career in engineering. However, Brianna was connected to the practice from an early age.

“My father’s dental office wasn’t just his place of business,” said Brianna. “It was the site of my fifth birthday party (complete with a magic show in the waiting room), my first job (pulling weeds in the garden and, later, mowing the lawn) and so many other good memories.”

“After my first year in college at UTK, I shamelessly begged for a job at the office so I could have flexibility with summer classes,” she continued. “Besides I was still pretty shy and didn’t want to have to apply for a ‘real job.’ I spent the summer scrubbing trays and instruments and cleaning up rooms and watching my dad work and interact with patients. I just remember seeing him work and thinking, ‘Hey, I can do this.’”

When she joined her father’s practice, Brianna continued a family tradition. Reid’s father and both his older and younger brothers were dentists. His younger brother has a pediatric dentistry practice, which was their father’s specialty.”

“Having patients boast that they’ve had two, three or sometimes four of the Dr. Crumptons is amazing,” said Brianna. “I never got to meet my grandfather (Dr. Earl Crumpton) or my uncle (Dr. Scott Crumpton), but hearing stories and seeing their decades-old work holding up is a pretty good consolation prize.” Reid’s initial shock at Brianna’s career choice quickly turned to pride.

“She is such a delight: bright, skilled, hardworking, conscientious, full of ideas and hungry to know the best technique/materials/ equipment, and she has a killer sense of humor,” he said. “We collaborate on improving the office and seeking out new and better ways to take care of patients. What I am most proud of is that she spends almost every Friday at the RAM clinic in Rockford and is already a board member of the East Tennessee Academy of Dental Practice Administration. She exceeds me already, and she clearly understands what it means to be a Dr. Crumpton, a continuation of an already 70 years of family service to Knoxville.”

Father and daughter love the challenges of dentistry. “Dentistry is constantly changing with improvements in materials, techniques and our understanding of how to maintain oral health,” said Reid. “Techniques for dealing with disease have improved, some dramatically such as root canal treatment or surgery by laser which has almost no post-operative sensitivity and beautiful healing without scarring.”

“Dentistry is the perfect marriage of art and science," said Brianna. “At the end of the day, a smile is a huge part of a person’s life and personality, and to restore that for them in one way or another is the real reward.”

ROTHCHILD CATERING, EVENT RENTAL BY ROTHCHILD AND DARA'S GARDEN

35 years ago, Nathan and Susan Rothchild opened Rothchild Catering in a 520 square foot 19 stool snack shop in an office complex. Today, Rothchild Catering and Conference Center is a 60,000 square foot special events facility. Event Rentals by Rothchild, with son Baron now at the helm, was created as a subsidiary company. In 2004, daughter Dara Bozdogan opened Dara’s Garden, a 20 acre wedding and event facility located in South Knoxville.

“I never really had expectations for Dara and Baron to join the company,” said Susan. “However, looking back, it doesn’t surprise me that Baron enjoys his career. He has always been a thinker and a problem-solver. When he was little, he would always be looking for skills he could learn. If we had hired a plumber to do work, Baron would be under the sink with him learning how to fix pipes. Every event that requires rentals is unique, and Baron will think through the logistics of the event, help the client troubleshoot and make sure they have the best equipment to suit their event.”

“I enjoy working with my hands to build and create,” said Baron. “I really enjoy troubleshooting the logistics of large scale events, especially festivals, and see them come to life.”

“Dara had always been determined to go into the fashion industry,” Susan continued, “but I think anyone who gets to knows Dara quickly realizes how passionate she is about creating a beautiful life by filling hers with wonderful experiences. I think this is why she fit so naturally into the event industry. She really cares about the details that make events magical and meaningful.”

“Getting to be a part of someone’s most special day is a blessing,” said Dara. “Owning and running a venue is more about having a passion for people than it is a creative outlet. The wedding industry has many fabulous professionals, and it is so fun to work alongside them each weekend.”

It’s possible there may someday be a third generation involved in the family businesses.

“My son, Miles, and my sisters’ future children will all be given the same advice our parents gave us,” said Baron. “The family business will always be an option but never an obligation.”

“When you work with family, you have to set boundaries so that work does not consume all your conversations,” said Susan.

“Sometimes we even make a game of it. One time on a family vacation, we made an agreement that the first person to discuss business had to pick up the tab for our next dinner.”

VOLUNTEER PRINCESS

According to Walter LeMasurier, getting into the river cruise/dinner cruise business stemmed from son Chris’s love of water sports.

“Chris was always a ‘water person,’” he said. “He was a great water skier; he made the UT ski team as a freshman and was quite a success. We had a water ski boat which he handled very well as well as a wave runner. We purchased a houseboat on Norris Lake and spent summer weekends on the houseboat. He also handled this vessel very well, especially docking which is not always easy, but he made it look that way.”

“I love being on the water,” said Chris. “There is nothing better than being on a 100 foot yacht. I also enjoy that every day is different in that I am working on different things each and every day.”

“When I started, I was a crew member,” he continued. “I helped serve, deal with customers and tied the boat up. After a little over a year, I got my captain’s license and have been the head captain ever since. Since we are family owned and operated, my responsibilities also include all the maintenance of the yacht, managing around 30 employees each year, shopping for the food served on the yacht, making sure the bar is stocked, making sure all of the proper financial obligations are met and maintaining the yacht to coast guard and health code specifications. Basically whenever something needs to be fixed, everyone looks to me to figure it out.”

“Chris took the Coast Guard Captain’s course and got his license right after graduating from UT,” said Walter. “He took over as captain at a very early age. My wife and I for the first 8-10 years were also working on the boat, as well as Chris’s wife Nikki. It was a real family enterprise and was quite successful, until the recession started in 2008. Although many similar businesses closed in 2008-2009 because of the recession, we were able to carry on through a very trying time. Chris and Nikki became very good employees, working extremely hard. It was a pleasure working with both of them. Chris turned into a very hard worker and a very good captain, someone to be proud of.”

One thing Chris said he learned from his father is “how to treat people.”

“He used to come on every cruise and helped ensure our guests had the most enjoyable experience,” he said. “People always assumed he was the captain. So when people come back, they always ask where the British guy is.”

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