Dad’s the boss: sons and daughters learn the ropes of the family business

Louie Larsen grew up working with his dad, "Big Louie." Now his son Andrew (shown getting a free ride about 20 years ago, top) works side by side (bottom) with him at The Net Result in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Alison Shaw.

The Times recently spoke with fathers and their sons and daughters who work together in family businesses. The benefits, they unanimously report, far outweigh the challenges. One upside? Most of them will be spending Father’s Day together — working.

The Net Result

Louis Larsen grew working at the family business — Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha, and ran the store for a few summers in the early 1970s. He stuck with the business when he and his wife Beth opened the Net Result on Beach Road in 1985. Their son Andrew has been working full time for three years.

Louie Larsen: I grew up working with my father. It was great. Working with my son is awesome. I’m glad he’s here. You feel like you’re teaching somebody. He definitely has more patience than I do. When it’s your own child you’re proud that he takes an interest in your job.

My father just passed away this year. I used to make it a habit to have a cookout on Father’s Day and get all of the family together. Not sure what we’ll do this year.

Andrew Larsen: It’s going great. The family is the most important thing. When you boil it down there’s nothing else.


Giordano’s has been a family-run business since 1930 when Edwardo and Mary Giordano founded the popular restaurant. Today, there are multiple family members involved, including the owners — brothers Richie and Buster (grandsons of the founders), Richie’s children Michael and Leanne, and Buster’s sons Billie, Carl, and Jason.

Richie Giordano: It’s really satisfying working with your son, but it is challenging, because you expect more. We’re not just in the building together, we’re in the pizza room side by side. That’s the challenging part. The family understands the nature of the business — it’s a seasonal business and there are long hours. There are times when there’s an event that they want to go to, but they just suck it up and do the job. With family you have that mesh where the gears are working together. It’s one happy family. Not all of the time but most of the time.

Winter to me is make-up time. What we can’t do in the summer time we try to make it up as a family in the winter.

Michael Giordano: Working for your family is a unique situation. It’s an experience that not many people get. It can be tough, but it’s really rewarding too. When I was a little kid I always begged my Dad to take me to work with him, and of course he would bring me along. I’d fold pizza boxes on the marble bench in front of the window with him. We’ve spent every summer working together on that very same marble bench, him composing the pizzas and me cooking them. My father is extremely insightful and knowledgable. He’s taught me many valuable life lessons while working together. He’s always preached to think twice before I act.

My dad and I both love hockey. We go to Bruins games when we can, but that’s few and far between.

Leanne Giordano: I was a box folder as a child. The only acceptable form of payment those days was multiple rides on the Flying Horses. I’ve been a busser, a pizza room cashier, host, and server before becoming the dining room manager. We continue to learn the ways of our great grandparents and grandparents through my dad and uncle in hopes of continuing the family tradition. Working with my dad is a privilege — he’s hard-working, kind, generous. However, we’re working on his jokes; they’re only funny the first ten times!

Reliable Market

The Reliable Market was founded in 1947 by Eddie and Helen Pacheco. For three generations, every immediate family member has worked in the store. Helen Pacheco worked in the store right up until 2005, when she passed away at age 91. Today Bob and his wife, Donna, are joined in the operation by their two children, Jennifer Lynn Freeman and Eddie Pacheco. The market closes on Sundays at 1 pm so that the entire family can get together outside of work, so Fathers Day won’t be quite all work and no play.

Bob Pacheco: It’s great working with family. It’s something we’ve done for so long. I’m proud to have my kids working for me and have the family tradition continue. When my mom was alive, Sunday afternoon was family time. It’s Just something we’d like to continue. We get to spend time with the grandchildren. I look forward to it every week. It’s a different dynamic outside of work. It’s a little more relaxed.

Eddie Pacheco: The work environment isn’t much different than any other boss/employee relationship. What’s challenging from time to time is keeping the store at the store and not bringing it home. We try not to talk about the store outside of work.

Jen (Pacheco) Freeman: I’ve never worked under anyone else except my grandmother. It’s very special working for family. You can’t be fired – but you can’t quit!