December 11, 2023
valley lahvosh baking company crackers with charcuterie and fruit

When Agnes Sgatilian first began attending business commerce festivals as president of her household’s baking firm, she noticed firsthand how males dominated the meals business.

“Guys, to start with, would strategy me and say, ‘Can I communicate to your boss?'” And I would reply, “I am the boss,” and their eyes would open in shock. Then I would give them my enterprise card, and so they’d take a look at it rigorously, after which say, “Okay!”

This truly wasn’t a lot of a shock to Agnes. “My mom handled the identical state of affairs for years, and after I would attend exhibits along with her, guys simply assumed there was a man behind my mother who was doing the job. The reality is, he wasn’t there — he was every thing.”

move the torch

Agnes is the third technology proprietor of Wadi Lahoush Bread Company, which was began in 1922 by her grandfather, Gazir Sagatilian, a grasp baker in his native Armenia. For 100 years, the Saghatelian household has been making numerous scrumptious bagels and crackers in Fresno, California, all on the identical location, 502 M Avenue.

Ghazayer had six kids, and when he died in 1982, his daughter Janet took over the bakery with the intention of constant the household enterprise. You probably did it nice.

Beneath Janet’s watchful and inventive eye, she put the corporate on the map utilizing Heart shaped crack. After this product turned recognized, she created different shapes, together with stars and small bushes.

Agnes spent her childhood serving to her mother on the bakery, and after graduating from Fresno State in 1993, she knew precisely what she needed to do: “Go to work, formally, for my mother and our enterprise.”

She labored carefully at her mom’s facet till the latter’s demise in 2010, at which level Agnes turned President of Valley Lahvosh Baking Firm. “All these years, I served as my mom’s confidante, her closest advisor, so I used to be prepared to make the leap after her demise. However, wow, I had big sneakers to fill.”

Behind each nice work is a larger girl

Founder of Wadi Lahfoush Bread Company behind the counter.
Counterculture: Agnes has been behind her household’s century-old bread

Agnes is celebrating her anniversary this 12 months – 30 years with Valley Lahvosh Baking Firm. However, wanting again, she realizes how tough issues had been.

“Originally of taking up, and I feel I can communicate for anybody who takes over a household enterprise, there’s self-doubt, anxiousness, and a few concern of with the ability to take the job. I feel that is regular, however the one solution to make it work is to dive in and hold transferring ahead, Agnes advises.

She additionally recommends that anybody beginning or taking up a enterprise, household or not, take heed to what folks have been saying for years.

“To achieve success, it’s important that you’ve self-confidence and belief your instincts. You simply want to remain motivated, be in the appropriate and proper state of mind, and be sure you proceed to take a position your time, cash, and vitality within the firm, its workers, and its enterprise companions.”

For Agnes, that meant increasing the corporate’s relationships and looking for alternatives within the meals world. Valley Lahvosh sells to a wide range of industries, together with meals service for accommodations and eating places, retail (together with grocery shops), and likewise manufactures for different non-public labels.

household ties

Agnes additionally slowly acclimated her daughter, Danielle, to the enterprise. “I encourage her to do no matter she desires along with her life, even when that does not embody working right here,” asserts Agnes. “She’s solely a teen, however she’s actually serving to and asking questions on what is going on on.”

Most significantly, Agnes hopes to set instance for her daughter. “I feel she sees how a lot work I put in,” says Agnes. “I additionally suppose she has grow to be conscious of all of the obligations I’ve, in addition to how accountable I’m to all of the work and to our superb staff that I lead.

“To start with of taking up, and I feel I can communicate for anybody who takes over a household enterprise, there’s self-doubt, anxiousness, and a few concern of with the ability to deal with the job.”

Agnes Sgatilian, President, Lahvosh Baking Firm

“I feel she additionally sees, as a single mom, that I juggle being the boss of the corporate with being the mom of our household. My daughter sees how a lot work I do daily and after hours. I understand how essential it’s to ensure she will get the correct quantity of consideration.

“There are occasions, although, when I’ve to be sincere along with her, after very lengthy days, and simply inform her that my mother is drained. However I feel it is essential, to find time for her and to ensure we do issues collectively. I am fortunate we get alongside so nicely. I hope.” Simply to do issues that make her proud.”

on a roll

Does Agnes suppose her mom could be happy with her and the place did she begin working? “Oh, she could be so proud. Oh my God, she was my greatest supporter and cheerleader,” Agnes says fondly. “My mother would have liked each second of our 100y Anniversary celebration that included particular gross sales and retailer hours, a celebration, and an announcement by the Mayor of Fresno! “

Loads has modified for the century-old firm that Janet could not see, together with all of the candy photographs posted to social media that includes charcuterie boards and the intelligent methods they flaunt their hearts, stars, and tree shapes.

“My mother would get such a kick out of all of the fantastic feedback folks depart. She could be thrilled with all of this, and it makes me so blissful.”

Distinctive presents for superb ladies

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