“It’s our Christmas for sure,” said Paul Becker, sales manager.
The 94-year-old family business sells supplies directly to schools.
“Very busy on deck,” said Ryan Becker.
CEO Louis Becker reported two busts in the entrance to the office.
“It was actually my grandfather and my grandmother, the founders of the company in 1928,” Louis said.
The first generation started in Philadelphia, moving to several locations before crossing the river to New Jersey.
“My grandfather founded us. He had nine children. My father was the youngest of nine children, ”said Paul. “My dad was 13. Uncle Al was eight. Uncle Charlie was 12. Aunt Anne was seven.”
The Beckers have seen a lot of changes over the years. They note that their most difficult time was when they were in northeast Philadelphia and were hit by a tornado.
But the layoffs and the uncertainty of the pandemic have certainly been tough on the family.
“We serve schools. If they are closed, who do we send the supplies to? Ryan Becker asked.
Last summer, the family saw school orders evolve into individualized supplies and setups.
“Instead of selling a big table, we sold more small individual desks,” Paul said.
Like many industries, the supply chain remains a challenge.
The third and fourth generation family members now work in the store and hope to carry on the tradition.
“We’re lucky because we now have the fourth generation in which I thought I was smart and fast – these guys are way smarter and faster than me – so our future is pretty bright,” said Louis.
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