In honor of Independence Day, we’d like to celebrate family-owned businesses and restaurants across our great country. Did you know the first Original Pancake House was founded in 1953 in Portland, Oregon by Les Highet and Erma Hueneke? Using her family’s recipes and traditions, Sara Hueneke Ernst, great niece of Erma Hueneke, opened the first Original Pancake House in Denver in 1996. The Original Pancake House Denver has been serving breakfast to hungry patrons for many years, but here are a few American family-run businesses that have been around even longer!
Founded by Antonio Zambelli back in 1893, Zambelli Fireworks is still run by the Zambelli family out of Pittsburgh, PA. Today the company supplies more pyrotechnic displays for celebratory events than any other firework company in the country. Of the 2,000 plus annual displays the Zambelli’s create, most occur on the 4th of July. Now that is a booming family business!
We thought we’d been serving pancakes for a long time, but Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans, LA has us beat! The oldest family-owned restaurant in America, Antoine’s was established in 1840 by Antoine Alicatore. Specializing in French-Creole cuisine, Antoine’s is famous for inventing Oysters Rockefeller. Today the restaurant boasts 14 dining rooms and seating for 700 patrons!
There is nothing more American than good old fashioned Rock –n-Roll! Did you know that Martin Guitars have been an American family-run business since the early 1800s? Martin Guitars was founded by CF Martin Jr. who immigrated to New York City from Germany in 1833. Today Martin Guitars has an 84,000 square foot factory and 500 employees, but it is still run by CF Martin’s great grandson. In 2004, Martin Guitar’s produced its 1,000,000th guitar following the same standards for workmanship and quality that CF Martin outlined in 171 years prior.
On behalf of the Hueneke and Ernst families, we salute each American family-owned business on this 4th of July holiday!