More Than A Bakery: Maintaining Integrity as a Core Value has Been Vital to Richmond Baking’s Success
In 1902, William H. Quigg joined a group of investors to purchase a Richmond, Indiana-based bakery.
He became the company’s general manager, and renamed it Richmond Baking. Little did Mr. Quigg know that he was embarking on a business venture that would span four generations, and eventually become the oldest family-owned cookie and cracker maker in the country.
The Quiggs have provided leadership for the company since its inception, and while they receive offers for buyouts on a regular basis, the family has no intention of selling in the foreseeable future. In fact, it is the full intention of the company’s shareholders to prime the fifth generation of Quiggs—who span from 18-months to 17-years-old—to take over the company when they come of age.
Today, the husband-and-wife team of Bill and Felicia Quigg head up the company’s executive team: Bill serves as president of the company, and Felicia as vice president of Family Pride—or its human resources arm. The company employs over 350 “family members” at its two bakeries: the original branch in Richmond, and a new facility in Alma, Georgia.
While the company’s employees are not technically members of the Quigg family, Felicia says it’s how they are referred to within the company, reflecting the emphasis on family values, culture and tradition.
“We are clearly a family business, and we pride ourselves on treating everyone like family. We spend more time with each other than anybody else, and so our thought is, if you treat the people you work with like family, we’re going to look out for each other, we’re going to make sure we keep each other safe—it’s just an overall culture thing,” said Felicia.
While he may not have known it at the time, William Quigg’s enormous emphasis on integrity would become a core value passed down from generation to generation of Quiggs who have provided leadership for the company.
“We talk a lot about integrity in our vision and mission statement and in meetings, we use it as a lens to address issues, whether it’s problem-solving something we’re about to do, or to control performance issues. That’s a very big guiding principal,” said Felicia.
And when competition heats up or market conditions change, Bill and Felicia believe a family-owned business offers a distinct advantage.
“Being family-owned is a unique characteristic to our customer base, and offers flexibility that very large multi-billion-dollar companies really can’t provide,” said Bill. “We have the ability to invest in a longer-term perspective with customers that larger transaction-based companies may not be able or willing to do.”
The Quiggs’ vision for the company is to be “more than a bakery,” but a place where people can have lasting, fruitful careers in a family-oriented environment.
“We are Richmond Baking by name but, locally, we are termed ‘more than a bakery’ because we really want to make sure that our company is not just the same place where you get a paycheck or where you can buy a cookie,” explained Bill. “It’s more than that—it’s where you spend your career. It’s where you make lasting friendships. It’s where you’re part of the family.”
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.
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