By Leah Polakoff
The Kremp family has been flourishing in the floral business for over 55 years and three generations. President Scott Kremp manages Kremp Florist, the Philadelphia region’s largest florist company, with brothers Steve, Drew, Chad and Charles and sister Leslie. After being featured on ABC’s The Goldbergs, a 2013 sitcom based on a family in Kremp’s neighborhood, Kremp says business has been simply blooming.
Q: Your grandfather and father were both florists. What made you want to stay in the family business?
Kremp: As [with] many family businesses, you tend to grow up in the business. So everything you know as a kid revolves around the business. And I think as I got older, I just realized it was in my blood. I just enjoyed being around the activities that happened in the shop. I think the best answer is because it was in my blood growing up. It just felt like that was the thing I was going to do.
Q: How do you manage to separate family issues from work-related issues?
Kremp: That can be tough at times. We’re lucky enough that each person has very specific responsibilities where there’s not a lot of crossover. So for the most part, each person is handling their own area without another brother or sister-in-law getting in their business, which is great. The tough part is that I’m technically their boss, so I’m the one that has to make sure it all works together. There are definitely times where it’s tough to separate it, because we need to make decisions that are going to help the business, which would ultimately help everybody. And there are times that it’s not the easiest decision to sway the people to see it. So how do I do that? I don’t think there’s a trick to it. I do know that it’s sensitive and there are many times where those issues come up, so it does make it tough.
Q: Kremp Florist has gotten a lot of publicity lately based on the show The Goldbergs. How has that helped business?
Kremp: It’s been great. The show, the ties from our family to the Goldbergs, it’s real. Chad, my youngest brother and Adam [Goldberg], who’s the producer of the show, they are still best friends. As a matter of fact, Chad is going to be Adam’s best man in a couple of weeks. They are very tight and Adam all along wanted the Kremps to be a big part of it because our family was a big part of his life growing up. So it was great when he said, “Hey, we want to put a flower shop in there!” But almost every day, people come in the shop and want to take a picture with Drew or want to take a picture with Chad or talk about the show. So it’s been really great.
Q: In the small town of Jenkintown, Pa., do you consider yourself a hometown celebrity?
Kremp: You know, I don’t know if I would say that. This happened in Jenkintown, a very close-knit community in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I still live there, and I’m around all these people that see it. Whenever I’m out, someone usually makes a Goldbergs comment, and it’s always a positive one for sure.
Q: What’s the best advice you ever received from either your grandfather or father?
Kremp: In our business, we’re very holiday driven. It’s a busy shop day-to-day, there’s always activity, but the holiday times are when you’re really going to make it or you’re really going to break it. The best advice I can remember to this day is from a previous Mother’s Day. It was as busy as it can be…you can’t even imagine the activity. And [my father] said, “Okay, let’s just stop and take a walk around.” And I’m thinking, “Are you crazy?” And he goes, “This is the time when you want to look and see what you could be doing better. It’s not next week when you look back, it’s not next spring when you start to plan for your holiday. When you’re in the middle of the craziest times, that’s when you’re going to find what you can do best for the next time.” And it’s a great piece of advice because you’re going to see areas that could be a little better.
About The Human Element:
The Human Element is a regular, web-exclusive column that aims to get to know the leaders behind great companies. Rather than talking about business models and growth strategies, CEOs open up about what motivates and guides them in their professional and personal lives. To be considered for The Human Element, email firstname.lastname@example.org.