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The New Face of Manufacturing: Madeline & Abigail Clemens Discuss Growing Up in a Family Business

Twin sisters Madeline and Abigail Clemens discuss what it’s like to grow up in a family business.

In Numbers

  • Coldwater, MI
  • 645,826 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 34 months

Twin sisters Madeline (pictured above right) and Abigail (pictured above left) Clemens discuss what it’s like to grow up in a family business.


Q: Have you ever worked in or helped support the family business?


Madeline: Yes, for the past five summers, I have been fortunate enough to either intern or work for my family’s business, Clemens Food Group. Following my freshman year of college, I decided to intern with the HR department of Clemens during the summer, hoping to gain some insight into whether or not a career in the business would be something I would be interested in pursuing post college. During my employment with Clemens, I have gained incredible experience that most people my age would not yet have received.


Q: Do you have interest in playing a role in the family business in the future?


Madeline: If my future career path, work experiences, and skills would be an asset to the family business, I would absolutely be interested in playing a role at Clemens Food Group. However, while using my skills to contribute to the success of the family business would be ideal, if my interests and passions are not matched with a career in the business, growing up and working for Clemens Food Group has cultivated my professional growth, leadership skills, and confidence in my abilities to pursue anything I set my heart and mind to.


Q: What are the benefits of growing up in an entrepreneurial family?


Abigail: Growing up in an entrepreneurial family has taught me to work extra hard in order to not allow anyone to look at me and say I was entitled or have taken anything for granted. It has inspired me to make a difference, especially looking back on my great-great grandfather’s legacy—beginning with hauling a pig to Philadelphia by cart and back and observing generations later what it has become. It certainly inspires me to make a lasting legacy in some small way that can allow me to contribute to the needs of my community.


Q: Why do you believe your family has been able to sustain and grow a successful business for so long?


Abigail: I believe my family has been able to make the tough decisions along the way that places the success of the business above personal gains, something that many family businesses have been unable to do. Family relationships certainly add both great rewards and great tensions, whether things are going great or not, it is important to not let those relationships get in the way of the success of the business as a whole. It is important to never forget the impact the business not only has had on our family, but on the community, providing thousands of jobs and benefits to hardworking people and sustaining communities for generations.

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