Fourth generation runs Boyd Coffee

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Monday, September 09, 2013

Gresham's Boyd Coffee Co. began in 1900 and is now a family business with $100 million annual revenue.

It buys coffee beans by the ton and distributes roasted coffees and brewing equipment to thousands of restaurants, hotels and convenience stores.

Only 12 percent of companies make it to the third generation, according to the Boston-based Family Firm Institute Inc., and here they are in the fourth. Experts say successive generations primarily falter because the founders' drive is diluted over time by privilege or stagnation. Younger family members don't benefit by having titles handed to them. The typical chief executive stays six years, while family leadership may be entrenched for 20 years or more, and lose touch with market or technological changes.

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