Having recently celebrated its 42nd anniversary, Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakery has stood the test of time and serves as a prime example of how a family business can be successfully run.
But running a business with family members can have its ups and downs and unique complexities. “It certainly adds another dimension,” said Babbie Poyer, who owns and operates Lauer’s Supermarket & Bakery with her sister, Bernie Snoops. “It’s rewarding when things come together working with the family, but it’s also challenging to keep family and business separate while letting it blend together at the right time.”
Although Poyer has an office at the Riviera Beach location and Snoops has an office at the Edwin Raynor store, they both regularly manage and strategize for both stores as a team. “We try to run the stores the same, using the same philosophy, the same product lines, and the same promotions and pricing,” said Poyer. “But each store maintains its own personality.”
Lauer’s first established its presence in Pasadena in January 1974 after husband-and-wife team Ed and Helen Lauer purchased the previous Super Thrift grocery store at the intersection of Mountain and Tick Neck roads. At an early age, the Lauers brought in their two daughters, Poyer and Snoops, to work in the store, allowing them to gain valuable experience in a very competitive marketplace that would eventually allow them to take over the business.
The Lauers’ action exemplified having a good business succession plan, one of the key attributes to a running a successful family business, according to experts. Poyer and Snoops worked side by side with their parents running the store until 2002, when they purchased the business from their parents, eventually allowing Ed and Helen to transition out.
Although Poyer and Snoops maintain most of the same business principles and values their parents upheld, some aspects of the business have evolved over the years to keep up with changing trends. Most notably, the stores increased their selection of prepared foods and organic products in response to growing demand for these items. In addition, “We’re constantly doing building upgrades,” noted Poyer. “In this business, you have to keep things fresh. There’s always something to repair or replace.”
Since its inception, the Lauer’s stores have transformed numerous times. After the initial purchase, the Lauers continued to operate the Super Thrift grocery store under the old name until 1980, when they changed name to Lauer’s. In 1982, the family expanded with a second store by purchasing the Acme Supermarket in Riviera Beach. In 1988, Lauer’s opened a new store at the intersection of Mountain Road and Edwin Raynor Boulevard, where it stands today, to replace the original store. Both stores have undergone numerous renovations to enhance their appeal and efficiency.
That philosophy to keep improving has paid off for Lauer’s, which was voted best grocery store and best bakery in the Voice’s 2016 “Best Of Pasadena” survey, as chosen by the readers.