Family Businesses Going Strong in Edmonds
One of our favorite series at Ed! is our focus on family-owned and multi-generational businesses. Edmonds is home to many of these operations and learning about their history is something we hope you find as interesting as we do.
To set the stage of the important role of family business, consider these stats. Family-owned businesses make up 90% of all businesses in America. Approximately half of our entire workforce is employed by a family-owned business…that’s around 80 million people nationwide.
For our fourth installment in our family-owned focus, we sat down with two more Edmonds businesses to learn about how they got their start and why they love Edmonds—Brandon Meyer, son of owner Pam Meyer, of Pancake Haus and Dick Beresford of law firm, Beresford Booth PLLC.
Ed!: Tell us about the history of your business
Brandon: Pancake Haus opened on Easter in 1969 and promptly ran out of food. It was started by a couple named Ernie and Bonnie Boyd. My grandpa Larry Meyer started here the day it opened and has been here ever since.
My grandparents Larry and Vicky Meyer bought the restaurant in 1979 and it’s been in our family ever since. My grandma Vicky started here in 1979 and has been here since. My parents Pam and Paul Meyer bought the restaurant in 2008 and have owned it since then.
Right now my Uncle Mark, Aunt Kristi and cousin Chaz all work here. The younger generation is too young right now but are looking forward to start making money.
Dick: Beresford Booth was founded in 1946 by my father Robert Beresford and Wayne Booth. The first location was in downtown Seattle at the First National Bank Building.
I joined the firm in 1973 although I briefly worked at another law firm before joining my father. My older brother Bill Beresford was also an attorney at the firm, he retired in 2003. I am now semi-retired.
There isn’t another Beresford practicing law at Beresford Booth, however, our managing partner Daniel Tingstad has a son in law school. It would be great for him to join and then carry on the generational tradition.
Ed!: How long have you been at your current location, and were there any prior locations?
Brandon: Pancake Haus is still in the original location on Fifth Avenue in downtown Edmonds. There used to be a Pancake Haus in Northgate but they lost their lease after a few years.
Dick: Living in Edmonds and raising my family here, it was always my dream to move the firm from downtown Seattle to Edmonds. In 2000 we got the opportunity to take over our current location on Third Avenue in downtown Edmonds. It was great to only have a ½ mile commute from that point on!
Ed!: How has your business evolved over time?
Brandon: The last major remodel was done about 2005. The current menu still has a lot of items from the original menu. The only things that have changed are the prices.
Dick: Technology has been a big influence in our growth. It used to be that your firm was located in an area where you served your clients. So that is why we were located in Seattle so many years. With the advent of email, location became more irrelevant. That was a big reason we were able to move from downtown Seattle to downtown Edmonds.
In the beginning, we had four attorneys but have grown to 16. At the start my dad and Wayne would take on any and every client they could find but over the years we’ve become more specialized as well as more global – even working nationally and internationally in some cases. We have attorneys who specialize in domestic relations, estates, wills and trusts, and litigation. We also have one attorney who specializes in adoption and surrogacy cases which is a growing area of practice.
Ed!: What is your favorite thing about being in business in Edmonds?
Brandon: Favorite thing about having a business in Edmonds is the people. A lot of our customers have become like family. They’ve been to our weddings and parties and we’ve been to theirs. Unfortunately we’ve been to far too many funerals over the years as well.
Without our customers we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’ve watched me and the rest of the younger generations grow up here.
Dick: For me, being close to my family was personally one of my favorite things. I was able to attend my kids’ games and events when they were growing up, and now, my grandkids’ games and events because I’m so close to home.
I also like to say that good lawyers get involved in their community. We are committed to serving our area through pro bono work at the Edmonds Center for the Arts and Wade James Theater / Driftwood Players. I am the director emeritus of the Edmonds Community College Foundation. And our firm supported the EWHS scholar athletes banquet for many years. Each of our attorneys and staff members are involved in community endeavors in a variety of capacities.
We appreciate these business owners sharing their story with us! Edmonds is so fortunate to have a rich history of family-owned businesses with interesting histories to share. Look for more installments in this series soon.
For more information about all the local businesses in downtown Edmonds, please visit http://edmondsdowntown.org/.
By Kelsey Foster, photos by Matt Hulbert