Mom and Pop and the Kids Too!
Because I was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and grew up there, I knew of many famous families that lived in and around the area who contributed to Pittsburgh's growth. There were the Carnegies, the Mellons, Westinghouse and the Heinz family who doesn't love Heinz ketchup right?
But what about successfully run small family owned businesses that made it big that are not so well known? Well, my first two picks are from Pittsburgh and these two families worked hard to make it big all while keeping it in the family. And by the by, there are eight more top family owned businesses to read about from all over the United States.
1. Zambelli Fireworks
Known as the "first family of fireworks," Zambelli Fireworks provides pyrotechnic displays for more events than any other company in the United States and an average year for them includes over 2,000 displays most on the 4th of July.
Back in 1893, Antonio Zambelli came to America from Italy and started the company which still maintains its head office in New Castle, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Pittsburgh).
Because George Jr. is a surgeon, the Zambellis have hired on George Taylor to run the show until the young Zambellis can take over operations. This is no tiny company. Designers and architects of the company who create these fantastic pyrotechnic shows make big bucks anywhere from $75,000 to over $200,000 per year and their sales each year hover around the $4 to $5 million mark.
Who knew Antonio's dream would take this company so far in the world of fireworks and spread the world with oohs and ahs from their innovative and exciting displays?
2. The Rooney Family Owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Franchise
In 2009, Sports Illustrated placed the Rooney Family as the first family of professional sports and for good reasons. In was back in 1932 when patriarch Art Rooney won big at the races, horse races that is, and invested his $250,000 winnings in professional football. Rooney, born in Coulterville, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh said, "My mother's people were all coal miners and my father's people were all steel workers." cheap jerseys This made for the beginnings of what is the Steeler Nation full of blue (and white) collar fans, but mostly the former.
Rooney first named the team the Pirates, but in authentic jerseys wholesale 1941 with the steel mills prominent in wholesale hockey jerseys Pittsburgh, he changed the name to the "Steelers." Under Rooney's leadership, the Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowl titles. In the mid 1960s, he passed on leadership to his son Dan Rooney, who in 2009 was named Ambassador to Ireland by President Obama. (Obama is a closet Steeler fan and has been seen waving a Terrible Towel.)
Dan Rooney remains busy as the Ambassador to Ireland and his son Art Rooney II manages the team these days with Dan's helpful insight.
The Rooney family won two more Super Bowl titles after Patriarch Dan died in 1988. The Steelers remain the only team in the NFL to hold six championship titles and they have more players inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame than any other team.
This is one family who continues to hold true to traditional football ideals and values and the "Chief" as everyone called him, Art Rooney once said he was proud to be a Pittsburgher because, "If you ask a Pittsburgher where someplace is, he'll stop and tell you, and if he has nothing to do, he will take you there." The Rooneys are a great family who turned a football franchise into a traveling nation full of fans across the United States.
3. Omaha Steaks
Today's Omaha Steaks isn't just about steaks anymore they sell lobster and even complete meals. in tow, and after a stop at Ellis Island, they took a train until they found land that reminded them of the farmlands of Riga. That, my friends, was Omaha, Nebraska.
It was a meager beginning when the company started in 1917, but the Simons were already known for the most tender and flavorful beef.
It was in the mid 1950s when Lester decided Omaha Steaks could be a mail order company delivering their frozen cuts from Omaha to homes all across the wholesale nfl jerseys United States. By 1963, still operating under the original name of the company, the Table Supply Meat Company, catalogs were sent to customers offering meats, poultry, fish and all sorts of sumptuous food, now vacuum packed for freshness.
The Simons became quite successful sending cuts of meat to the White House and to international clients. In 1966, with a new building in Omaha also came a new name, Omaha Steaks International, Inc.
By 1987, the Simon family had a full call center with a toll free number for instant ordering. Today, the company has over 1.5 million customers. Not only do their products exceed the Department of Agriculture standards, the Simons are still running the show!
As their motto says, "Give, Savor, Celebrate," today's Omaha Steak customers range from corporations using gift cards and gift baskets as incentives and gifts to individuals sending tasty and delicious offerings to friends and families everywhere.
4. wasn't fond of the restraints placed on his guitar making in Germany, so in 1833 he moved to New York City and opened a store on Hudson Street (Lower West Side). As Martin Guitar's website says, the shop was "a far cry from the company's current 84,000 square foot factory staffed by nearly 500 employees."
In 1955, Christian Frederick Martin IV was born and would continue the family tradition of making what are considered the best guitars out there. "Chris" as he likes to be called remains the CEO of Martin Guitars today. It took 171 years for this 175 year old company to produce its 1,000,000th guitar but the standards for workmanship and quality remain the same.
5. Zildijan Cymbals
Most of you probably haven't heard of this musical instrument giant, which began as far back as 1623! It was in that year Avedis Zildijan I was given permission to open his cymbal business in a suburb of Constantinople and now, as their website says, "That same business is now nearly four centuries old."
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