E-21: Manufacturing is the Family Business



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A second-generation family business located in Charlotte, NC, is keeping the family legacy alive.
Tropical Foods
Family businesses are great. They can help transfer family values, grow leaders, strengthen inter-generational bonds and they’re also a large part of the American economy. According to the Family Business Alliance, family enterprises employ 63% of the U.S. workforce. In addition, 75% of all new jobs are generated by family businesses. In this episode of Clocking In, we’re highlighting a second-generation family business that shows no signs of slowing down.
Tropical Foods is a woman-owned family food manufacturer based out of Charlotte, NC. Tropical Foods, established in 1977, manufactures nuts and snack mixes and distributes a wide variety of convenience food products with more than 3,000 selections in their product line. The organization maintains additional operating centers in Orlando, Atlanta, Washington DC, Dallas and Reno.
Phil Mintz speaks with the co-owner and CEO of Tropical Foods, Angela Bauer. Before joining the family business, Angela worked as a marketing specialist for Scientific Atlanta and a logistics coordinator for AJC International. Angela graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in International studies and again with a master’s degree in business administration.
We discuss how Tropical Foods came to be, what Angela Bauer learned from her parents about the family business, how the organization was affected by the pandemic, the process of manufacturing nuts and candies and more.
Watch Tropical Foods video “We Are Truly Good Foods”
LINKSNCMEP
Tropical Foods
ABOUT
Phil MintzPhil Mintz is the Executive Director of NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) and Director of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP). At NCMEP, Phil drives outreach to NC manufacturers, builds relationships with federal and state leaders and coordinates efforts to drive profitable manufacturing growth in the state. He also leads the broader IES Extension Operations outreach unit of regional managers, technical specialists and business development leaders providing business engagement, assessment and improvement tools. This includes statewide peer networks, ISO 9000 quality management systems, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, environmental services, and health and safety solutions.
Angela BauerAngela Bauer is the co-owner and CEO of Tropical Foods in Charlotte, NC. Prior to joining the family business, Angela worked as a marketing specialist for Scientific Atlanta and a logistics coordinator for AJC International. Angela graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in International studies and again later with a master’s degree in business administration.
Check out the Clocking In: Voices of NC Manufacturing website.

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