S. Prestley ("Pres") Blake and his brother Curtis Blake started the Friendly Ice Cream Company in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression. Their parents gave them their initial capital, their mother kept the books, and Pres and Curtis worked day and night in their tiny shop. This small family business kept expanding, and over time grew to a 500-plus restaurant chain. The brothers eventually sold their business to the Hershey Corporation. This autobiography of Pres Blake's life starts with this humble beginning. It shows how the brothers invoked straightforward business principles to guide their growth, and by dent of hard work and good advice from other business people, they were able to rapidly grown their restaurant chain. The book also shows Pres' adventures after retirement, including his fascination with cars, with exploring, and with giving back to people and educational institutions. But just as Pres was enjoying his retirement, he was roused to come back and save his "baby" from the management team that had bought the company from Hershey. The last third of the book is devoted to the amazing saga of Pres' fight to liberate his old company from mismanagement. Pres began the fight at age 86, and it took him seven years of a legal battle to get Friendly's new management. This is a fascinating portrait of a man who fought for his principles.
|Publisher:||Raphel Marketing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
S. Prestley Blake, at age 96, divides his time between homes in Florida and Connecticut, enjoys visits from his many friends around the world, still sails occasionally, and still dabbles in Rolls-Royces. He loves hearing from former employees. Every August he attends the retiree's picnic, and occasionally, dressed jauntily in bow tie and blazer, he pays a visit to Friendly's manufacturing plant in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Pres and his wife Helen support many causes, giving away $1.5 million a year. He especially enjoys speaking to audiences of young people, telling them that they, too, can enjoy a successful life if they work hard and play by the rules.
Alan Farnham is currently covering business stories for ABCNews.com. He previously worked for Forbes magazine as senior editor, overseeing lifestyle coverage. Prior to that he was a senior writer at Fortune for 13 years. His books include Guts: The Seven Laws of Business That Made Chrysler the World's Hottest Car Company (John Wiley & Sons, 1998), ghost-written for Chrysler's then-vice chairman Robert Lutz; and Forbes Great Success Stories: Twelve Tales of Victory Wrested from Defeat (John Wiley & Sons, 2000), written under his own byline.