As a growing, nationally-prominent franchise, it’s becoming easier to recognize the Batteries Plus Bulbs brand while losing sight of the local presence that each individually-owned store has to offer. However, behind every franchise location is an independent small business, often locally and family owned, that is the primary livelihood of the franchisee for each of the company’s 583 independently-owned and operated storefronts.
For these franchise groups, owning Batteries Plus Bulbs stores has allowed them to raise families, create job opportunities for loved ones, and work side-by-side with fathers, sons, wives, daughters and mothers. One such group is the family-owned Farrow business in south-central Pennsylvania. With original franchise owner (since 1995), Robert, providing input remotely from Florida to his son, current majority-owner, Dan, who works alongside his wife, Andrea, and brother, Dave (another owner in the business), and occasionally his daughter, Johna, the Farrows own and operate 3 locations in Camp Hill, York and Harrisburg with three generations of their family.
For Dan, getting the chance to work with family members has had a major impact on developing and strengthening his relationships with all of them, namely his father. Upon retiring from the Army after 20 years of valued service, and traveling all around the world, Dan had some catching up to do. Although he and his dad communicated frequently during that period, they only saw each other every couple of years. When Robert asked Dan to work for him in the Camp Hill store in 2000, Dan jumped at the chance.
After the Army, I didn’t know what to do. Turned out my dad needed me to help him out at his store and I needed an opportunity. It worked out great for both of us, and it gave me a chance to work with him every day and grow our relationship after being away from each other for so long.”
Robert and Dan made a deal; they would “give it a year” and see how it worked out. After said year went by, Dan became very interested in continuing with the business, but only if they could expand. Shortly thereafter, they opened their second store in York in 2003, with Dan taking ownership in the business. It wasn’t long before Dan’s brother, Dave, came on-board, as well. As Dan remained focused on growing the commercial sales business in Camp Hill, Dave was able to help run the York store while they were searching for a long-term solution at store manager.
Today, Dan continues to oversee the day-to-day operations at all three stores, Dave manages the Harrisburg location, Andrea runs the Camp Hill store, and Johna works for him from time-to-time. Dan still talks to his father (who still has stake in the company) every day to get his input on the business.
Working with family can be tough sometimes, especially when someone has to make a final decision. Still, none of us would change a thing. Having the opportunity to spend this time together, working towards a common goal, learning from each other and providing opportunities for one another has been a huge asset to our family. I’ve really enjoyed working with my daughter, and I hope that I was able to teach her something about how to be successful in the workplace.”
With dozens of families working side-by-side throughout our franchise system, we’re proud of the relationships that this business has helped to grow and forge; providing opportunities for multiple generations of families to take advantage of. After all, these are the relationships that last a lifetime.
Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere!
Batteries Plus Bulbs is owned by Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. Roark invests primarily in consumer and business services companies, with a focus on the franchise, food and restaurant, specialty retail, environmental services, waste management, and business services sectors.
With the opening of the first all-battery retail store in 1988 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Batteries Plus, as the brand was then known, quickly became the uncontested leader in the battery market, differentiated by superior product knowledge, product availability, helpful service and advice.