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Pros and Cons of Family-Owned Businesses

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Keeping a family-owned business in the family, especially over many years, can be a tenuous affair.  But since 1945, five generations from our next guest’s family have built and grown one of the largest real estate development firms in our state.  And it’s still going strong.  What is their secret?

Mike Switzer interviews John Darby, president and CEO of The Beach Company in Charleston, SC.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.