Father’s Day Q&A with Tony & Joe Martin
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, fatherly role models, and everyone in between—thank you for all you do.
In honor of Father’s Day this year, we interviewed Tony and Joe Martin, two third-generation members of the Martin family, sons of Martin’s president, Jim Martin and his wife Donna, and grandsons to founders Lloyd and Lois Martin.
Tony and Joe, who are now both fathers themselves, share with us some insight into their lives as dads and their hopes for the future of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.®
You can view their responses by clicking on the individual videos below, or by reading the transcripts.
Tony Martin: “So, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Tony Martin. I’m the Executive Vice President here at Martin’s [Famous] Pastry Shoppe. I report to my dad, Jim Martin. [He and] my mom, Donna—they have four kids and I’m the eldest of the four. My wife is Anne Martin. We met at college—Ohio State University—where I studied aviation. I was an airline pilot for a short time until I realized that I really felt a desire to come back and work for the family business. We have five children. The oldest one is twenty-one; the youngest one is ten. So we’ve had a fun time raising the kids. And other hobbies that I like to do are…I like riding bikes. It’s something I can do—it’s good for exercise and good for stress. I enjoy flying; I do that as a hobby also. And I do it here at work to get us from point A to point B a little faster. I also enjoy fishing and hunting and other outdoor activities.”
Joe Martin: “My name is Joe Martin. I’m Vice President of Production Operations here at Martin’s and I’m fourth-generation baker—at least fourth-generation…I’m not sure how far back they go.”
Q: What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?
Joe: “The best advice my dad ever gave me is along the lines of…‘Find out what you’re good at or what makes you different and do that. Use the uniqueness that God gave you and use that to be successful—try to be successful—and influence others.’”
Tony: “Okay, the best advice my dad ever gave me was probably…‘Work hard and let the results of your work stand for themselves. You don’t have to seek out glory. If you’re answering and giving people what they want, the results will take care of itself.’ My grandfather used to tell me that, ‘You’re either spending money or making money, so be careful how much time you spend spending money.’
“At the same time, I think it’s also important to know that you need to spend as much time as you can with your family because they are the most important things in your life.”
Q: What’s your favorite memory of your dad?
Tony: “I would say one of the memories I have of my dad is when I was in middle school and we actually took some of the stale product we had here at Martin’s and we would feed it to our cattle. And that was something that Dad and I could do together especially on a Saturday morning where we would work together on the farm and be able to really spend some quality time together, while trying to work and figure out how to be a farmer on the weekends.”
Q: What’s your proudest moment as a dad?
Joe: “My proudest moments come when my kids sit beside me and say, “Daddy, I’m happy.” Or they ask a really deep thought, whether it’s about God or relations or neighbors or… just life—things to come, occupations, things like that. When they ask something that’s really kind of meaningful, it makes me proud.”
Q: What’s some advice you would give to other dads?
Tony: “Some advice I would give to other dads would be to obviously spend quality time with your kids. Make sure that you’re giving and devoting enough time to the family because you’re only going to have them for a short time. At the same time, you need to work hard and show them a good work ethic—that we can still have both—you can work hard and also be a good dad at home and a good father and a good husband.”
Joe: “Advice I’d give other dads—I don’t claim to be a perfect dad but it’s mostly just, ‘take the time.’ It’s hard sometimes because you’re trying to provide and do things for them and sometimes you need to do things with them. And it’s hard to do that but that’d be my advice. They grow up so quick, so take the time.”
Q: What is your hope for your children as they grow up?
Joe: “My hope for my children as they grow up is that they learn what’s unique about them, where their gifts and abilities are, and how they can be a positive influence on those around them and maybe for their families in the future.”
Tony: “The hope for my children as they grow up would be for them to reach their full potential, whatever that is, whatever God has given them the abilities to do, that they would not waste them, that they would work hard and find satisfaction in whatever plan and will that God has for their life, and that they would seek that out.”
Q: How does your family celebrate Father’s day?
Tony: “My family celebrates Father’s Day—a few years ago, I’ll give you an example, I was driving past a place that sold Green Egg grills and so I stopped in and bought myself a Father’s Day present. So that then thereafter on Father’s Day, we have a big cookout and we either make hamburgers and hot dogs or steaks or brisket or something like that. I really like to make brisket on the Green Egg, something I can cut down and the kids love it and we can use it, you know, eat it on a Martin’s Roll with maybe a little sour cream or a little barbecue sauce, and that’s…I’m getting hungry thinking about it.”
Joe: “My family celebrates usually with a breakfast. They usually make me a little special breakfast. We, at some point, have a special meal. My kids usually make little personalized cards…My favorite gift was a mug of “Six reasons why I love being a dad” and it’s got each of their names on it and everything. That was my favorite gift.”
Q: What is your favorite Martin’s product?
Joe: “My favorite Martin’s product is probably our Sandwich [Potato] Rolls and there’s lots of things good on it—obviously burgers and stuff—but actually one of my favorites that I think is unique to our product is scrambled eggs, and put it in our roll, wrap it up in some tinfoil, let it steam a little bit, maybe a slice of cheese, but pretty simple, and open it back up and it’s just…it’s really good.”
Tony: “A favorite Martin’s product…I like them all, of course, but I really enjoy the Cinnamon [Raisin] Swirl [Potato Bread]. It makes great French toast. It’s something that I can do with the kids on a Saturday morning—make French toast on the stove when they get up. I also like Party [Potato] Rolls. I think they’re fun for parties where you can make little tea rolls and little finger sandwiches. The hamburger buns, of course, are really good. The Big Marty’s, I really like—I like to put a slice of fresh tomato and fresh Vidalia onion or something like that with a little mayonnaise, and just eat that as a sandwich. That’s probably one of my favorite summer sandwiches.”
Q: Why do you think the potato roll is so popular?
Tony: “The potato roll is so popular…I think it has less to do with the potato than it does with the quality ingredients and everything we put into it. Our roll is very unique. As we hear, it’s the “squishy roll.” At the same time it’s not so soft that it’s not usable. A lot of the other rolls out there are fairly dry and ours has a lot of, let’s say, rigidity in it where you can put a really…a lot of good sauce on it and it holds its shape and size and so that has given us a bit of a uniqueness in that space. And, the keeping quality—it gives people value. So, even though they may be paying a little bit more for our product, they don’t throw anything away typically. So, it’s a better value overall. I think that’s why it’s been very popular.”
Joe: “I think one of the things that makes our potato roll popular is…the softness and the strength of it. It holds together. It can handle like that scrambled eggs or cheeseburger that you put in there and it just soaks up some of the steam and the juices and makes a complete sandwich. And it doesn’t fall apart. Like I said, it’s very strong. And the flavor—it actually adds flavor. We believe that the roll is a big part of any sandwich. We think it adds quite a bit to most things you put in it.”
Q: Where do you think the company will be in 20 years?
Joe: “Where will the company be in twenty years…? It’s a long time. I hope to be on all seven continents by then. We’re only missing two, maybe one, we’re not sure about it…We may have to donate the product to Antarctica but…yeah, we hope to be in more countries, more states, and we think there’s many people that would enjoy our product and we hope to get it to as many of them as we can and share in joyful eating experiences with them.”
Tony: “Lord willing, we’ll still be in business and providing an opportunity for people to have a good eating experience. I think that with the way things are going with international sales, I think our product will continue to grow internationally. I’m hoping we can introduce other people to what a good roll is supposed to taste like and look like. I would hope that we were nationwide but, you know, that’s…whatever the Lord has for us in his plan is really where we want to be.”
You can watch the full interview at: https://youtu.be/vuFcKXFZ0Jg
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