The word family means a lot to us at Orr Farm Market. After all, it’s why we’re here. The farm and market you know today grew from a 60-acre orchard purchased in 1954 by George S. Orr Jr. After his passing, his wife, children, and grandchildren took over operations and helped guide the business to even more growth. We couldn’t be more proud of what our business has become: a thriving source of local commerce and a place of community gathering.
For the Orr family, running the farm and market is the only thing we can imagine doing. It brings together our love of the land, agriculture, and our community. Of course, there’s also “serious business” to take care of, and we do that pretty well too. We enjoy the opportunity to come together to discuss new ideas, celebrate successes, and solve problems. Throughout the years, we have each developed special areas of interest and experience that we apply to different aspects of the business.
Running a family business comes with unique challenges. We manage it with a few core values. One of our priorities is to treat employees and family the same. That helps maintain a positive environment for everyone. We also try to keep separate our personal and business interactions. It can get tricky at times, but for us, the benefits of running a family business are greater than the hurdles it presents.
Speaking of hurdles, here are a few bits of expert advice for family businesses:
- Be organized. When there are multiple opinions tossed around without structure, nothing gets accomplished. Select a business model that allows productivity.
- Put it in writing. When business decisions are spelled out clearly, it helps prevent confusion.
- Use constructive criticism. Interact with each other as businesspeople, not as family members.
This country is packed full of family-run businesses. Each has its unique story of how it began. Some businesses start by accident, while others are a product of long-held dreams. While family-run businesses differ wildly in size and services, they have in common the bond of family at the helm. We plan to keep passing down our experience and our love of farming to every generation of the Orr family. We hope you and yours stay along for the ride!