My Dad "Rags to Riches" In The Snack Box Business

by Corey Jon Slack
(Ottumwa, Iowa)

Honor Snack Boxes- What a novel idea for the person who is looking to start a business. I have a close family member (my father) who is my hero in life and my best friend. When he and my step mother started their snack box business I thought that they might actually have gone off the deep end.

I remember Dad and Marcie coming to pick my brother and I up for a visit. They had just started their snack box business and were really only running a small operation. At the same time they also delivered newspapers and if I am right my step mother was also taking college classes to better herself.

I watched my father spend time on weekends being so excited to fill these snack boxes for delivery to the small business' in his local area. I remember asking the question, "What if these people do not pay?" My father simply explained that this is why they are called honor boxes.

Since I was around twelve years old the thought did cross my mind of how other people would probably be thinking the same way as my young mind was thinking "free candy". However, as time progressed, one route turned into two, two turned into three and eventually I found myself working for my father at the age of twenty with him having, I think, fourteen routes and over fourteen hundred snack boxes.

All of a sudden Dad and Marcie were no longer working several jobs and struggling to get by. They seemed to be happy and proud because they were their own boss. Dad always said "Son, I am not the type of person that was meant to work for someone else. I prefer to control my own profit, time and happiness."

When I first started working for my father I was simply running routes and from time to time stumbling my way into setting up a new account. As time went on, one day a week I was able to spend time doing nothing but setting up new accounts on a cold call basis.

At first I was not much of a salesman. I had a goatee and an earring in one ear. Dad, of course being the expert salesman that he was, sat me down for the old heart to heart. He asked me to trust his knowledge of sales and give him one week of doing things his way. Dad promised me that I would see the benefits if I followed through.

I shaved the goatee begrudgingly and took out my earring. That week I placed twelve new accounts in one day and also set up four other new accounts during the days I was route running.

Yes, dollar bills started to flash through my head. Dad, as usual, was right (I hate to admit that. In just a short time we had spead our routes to almost twice what we had when I started working for him in just over a year.

As with most father and son business' I was still young and ignorant and thought at times I may know more than my father. After a two year stint with him I left the company to pursue balance in my life. This is a proper way to say I wanted to prove to dad how smart I was by going to college, which is where I ended up. I do not regret going to college, but I do often times wish that I would have stayed on with my father. Since I left he has grown his business drastically.

I watched him buy his new motor home (Wow, it is impressive!) and so are the two new motorcycles that he and my step mother purchased to take on the road with them.

My dad is still in the business and going strong. I sure am proud of him and all the hard work that he and my step mother put in. They have a great life and it is all because he did GRAB THE BULL BY THE HORNS and start this little snack box business that is now a big income.

Proud of you Dad!!!

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