A Chat with Russ Muzzolini!
You grew up in the family business. Can you tell us a bit about what that was like?
As a kid, there really wasn't much distinction between home life and work life. It was more like there were two locations in which work happened: a bakery and a house. However, these same two locations were also where family, community, and values were practically learned. I guess it was all one big home.
What are a couple of your best bakery moments from those days?
Tracey and I having sleep overs, in our sleeping bags, in the front of the bakery while our parents worked the night shift. Seeing my dad sitting next to the donut fryer on a 5 gallon pail having his morning breakfast of a sugar donut, cup of coffee, and an Export A. Washing bins on Saturday afternoon which meant the work week was coming to an end and we, as a family, were all going to get to do something fun that night.
What life lessons did you learn from your experience having entrepreneurial parents and growing up in this environment?
Working hard, skill, and passion are necessary ingredients in finding success for self, family, and others. However, (continually) setting and achieving common goals that ultimately result in more delighted customers are truly what makes a business, and those that it employs, differentiated.
When did you join the family business and why did you choose to do so?
I was drafted when I was 5. OK that and I liked getting money from my mom and dad so I could go buy stuff at the drugstore next door to the bakery.
You wear a unique hat in this company. Can you share with us a bit about your role?
My role is to help ensure that more and more people get a chance to experience the food, warmth, and kindness of my family as so many already have over the past 60 or so years. I do this by first bragging about (aka promoting) the food and then highlighting the level of difficulty and the level of perseverance it takes to successfully operate a small business for this long. Behind the scenes I'm a consigliere for Tracey and Blair, who on occasion, creates production software, financial models and hammers a nail or two when needed.
What has been your greatest success over the years as a part of the family business?
Being respected and loved by my family despite all the business drama that can interfere with that.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Come visit Tracey, Blair, and the team at Christies Bakery to experience our wonderful food. Bring your friends. Bring your family. You will be delighted. That and "Go Niners!"