Chef’s Shoppe Gourmet Kitchen, a 2017 GOURMET INSIDER® All-Star, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. And, while owners Nancy and Scott Schneider certainly acknowledged the Edwardsville, IL-based store’s past accomplishments, the duo also recognizes the importance of planning for the future.
“One of the big discussions in the gourmet industry right now is succession planning and what to do for future generations in this industry. Over the last couple of years, we’ve lost lots of stores. Owners are retiring and end up closing because they are having a hard time selling, which is sad,” said Nancy Schneider.
With that said, the Schneiders have recognized that succession planning is a critical component of an independent gourmet kitchenwares store’s business model, and have put their own plans in motion.
“Our plan is that we have family involved, and they want to learn as much as they can about the business. Scott and I will always be around to guide them and help them learn the trade. However, I think the willingness to teach your employees and make them a part of the business is probably one of the best avenues of being able to get out of the business yet still stay in the business,” said Nancy Schneider.
The Schneiders typically promote employees from within the shop and give them the responsibilities of running the store. Scott Schneider added that he and Nancy guide the team everyday, but the day-to-day operations of the store are ultimately handled by the staff.
“We come in and let our folks make the decisions and support them. It gives them a sense of ownership too, and it works much better than trying to run the place by yourself,” said Scott Schneider.