The buying and selling of wares goes back as far as 7500 B.C, and the first retail shops (stalls operated by artisans) were created around 650 B.C. in Turkey. Business journalist Robert Spector, who grew up working in his family's butcher shop in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, set out to discover the current state of independent retailing in America. Spector found that despite a depressed economy, many mom & pop stores have been launched or successfully reinvented by responding to the changing tastes of their patrons, offering good customer service, and fostering a sense of neighborhood identity and camaraderie. From a specialty soda pop shop in Los Angeles to a florist shop in Dayton, Ohio, from a bakery in Chicago to a bookstore in Washington State, mom & pop store owners shared their stories with him, revealing the spirit and tenacity of the small business owner. The Mom & Pop Store reflects the story of this country, for it embraces and cross-references every ethnic group, and virtually every element of our society.
|Publisher:||Walker & Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Robert Spector is author of The Nordstrom Way, The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence, Amazon.Com: Get Big Fast, and Category Killers. He has appeared on the National Business Report, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg Business, CNET News.com, CEO Exchange, NPR's Marketplace Report, and numerous other radio shows. He has written on business for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, UPI International, NASDAQ Magazine, Customer Service Management, and Corporate University Review; on fashion for Women's Wear Daily and Details, and civil liberties for Parade. He gives dozens of talks every year to business organizations and groups.
Table of Contents
Part I Stories from Home
1 Working-Class Hero 13
2 Perth Amboy 31
3 Zeyde (Grandfather): Founder of Our Family Business 49
Part II Stories from the Road
4 The Rise of the Merchant 67
5 Working Alongside Mom & Pop 89
6 Independence 117
7 Passion and Persistence 138
8 Reinvention 151
9 There Goes the Neighborhood 171
Part III Stories from the Community
10 Connection 197
11 Hard Times 216
12 If Your Neighbor Has It to Sell... 237
Selected Bibliography 277
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rather than being a history or study of small family-owned businesses, [The Mom and Pop Store] is more a loose collection of anecdotes and profiles of various businesses. Spector writes with passion about his subject with a healthy dose of his own personal experiences, but, unfortunately, his attempts at tying all of these different people, businesses, and themes together never quite makes it. Not a bad read by any means, but I wouldn¿t particularly recommend it either.Note: I received this through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
On the one hand, Spector¿s book is a nice collection of anecdotes about small businesses. On the other hand, however, it serves as a serious reminder that I, as an individual, can make a difference in my local economy simply by choosing to patronize local businesses whenever possible. If we are not willing to use our purchasing power to help keep these small stores in business, we deserve the world of big-box stores that we will get.
The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories from the Heart of America, not only gathers together a vast spectrum of information about retail business in America but also weaves together engaging descriptions of dozens of human relationships forged in the histories of family businesses. I particularly enjoyed the story of the Uyesugi family who grew their jewelry business in California after the dislocation of the Japanese internment camps during WWII.
When I put myself on the list to obtain an Early Reviewer's copy, I hoped it would be inspiring and well written -- because I find the topic especially interesting. I have been a consultant for several small businesses and the owners were, as a rule, quite inspiring. And I patronize many small businesses -- when possible, I choose them over the national chains or franchises.I enjoyed the book, found the stories compelling and the writing very fluid and fun to read. It's obvious that the author has great fondness for the entrepreneurs he patronizes and/or interviewed for the book.The book is so good, in fact, that I'm going to make a suggestion that we read it for the non-fiction group at my public library. (Each year in July, we vote for the next 12 books we are reading, all of them suggested by members of the group.) Books for that group have to be well written and fun to read -- and also give us something interesting to talk about. I look forward to a wonderful discussion -- prompted by The Mom & Pop Store -- about the small businesses we remember from the past and patronize today.Review based on an Early Reviewer's copy of the book.
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas. I thought it would be perfect for him. The one big disappointment was NO PICTURES! I feel pictures of these old Mom & Pop stores would of made the book more interesting.