Interview: Bennett Glazer, Chairman and CEO of Glazer’s, on its 100th Anniversary

Last week I sat down with Bennett Glazer to reminisce about the past 100 years and talk about the future. The interview follows.

AC: Since this is the 100-year anniversary, Bennett, why don’t you tell us how Glazer’s started?

BG: As the story goes, in 1909 my grandfather Louis Glazer settled in Dallas, and that year he and his brother, who settled in Fort Worth, started a little soft drink company. They didn’t have cars back then.

They bottled soda pop, and and they would go out and peddle it on the back of a horse-drawn cart, and they’d make a living. That’s the beginning of the family business. Eventually my grandfather had three sons that were active in the family business. In 1929 Louis died, and his sons, Max. Fritz and Nolan, were busy. My dad was Nolan; he was 16 years old at the time. He was the only one getting an education. Nolan was in high school when his father died, and he joined his brothers.

In 1933 Prohibition was repealed, and Max felt that to expand the soft drink company into alcohol would be a great opportunity, and he convinced Fritz and Nolan that that was the thing to do for the family business. So they applied for the permit to sell alcohol in 1934, and that was when Glazer’s started. So the family business started in 1909 and Glazer’s started in 1934, so we’re celebrating 100 years in business as a family and celebrating 75 years in the alcohol business.

AC: Can you tell me a little about when you got started in the business and how?

BG: My growing up was like any kid that is part of a family business. My dad was very involved in the family business, so growing up I felt like there was always going to be an opportunity there for me. I went to the University of Texas, and when I got out I went to work for the company as a salesman. It’s very difficult sometimes, unless you have a plan or a program, when the children of owners are involved. It could be a very difficult thing. I would do it completely different with my kid than the way it was done for me.

I always knew that was where I was going to end up. I had a good time in college. I’m not sure my priorities were real straight. Once I got out of college and went to work. Then events happen in your life, and those are the things that lead you to where you end up.