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New Year’s Q&A with Jim Martin

January 1, 2018
5 min. read

Mr. Martin interview screen shot

New Year’s Day is a time to reflect on the previous year and make plans and resolutions for the upcoming one. Resolutions help to hold us accountable to our goals and give us something to work toward. New Year’s Day is a great time to be thankful for our many blessings, and to look forward to the future with hopeful anticipation.

In preparation for the New Year, we interviewed Jim Martin, President of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, to hear about his favorite moments of 2017 and what’s in store for Martin’s® in 2018. Read or watch the video clips below to hear his responses to each question!


Q1: How Does Your Family Celebrate New Year’s?

“Many times we don’t get everybody together on New Year’s. We just get a portion of us. And then we [watch] football, eat some shrimp…I think there’s something we do with pork too… And then we stay up and watch fireworks.”

Q2: What Were Your Favorite Moments from 2017?

“We’ve had a lot of good ones. We’ve picked up distribution to customers that have wanted us in their areas. It’s always fun being able to get service to people that have been going out of the way to get your product and you now can get it to them conveniently…that’s always nice.

“I got another granddaughter—that’s very important.

“Business-wise, we’ve secured our contracts for the expansion in Valdosta, so we can continue meeting the demand that’s been growing.

“[Regarding family activities] I would say probably most years, we figure out something we can do together as an entire family. We all have an RV…we drag along, and try to do something that’s educational, and this past year it was taking in the Plymouth Plantation…It’s [a] village where they speak in Old English, they have the type of building and…fire pits and things like that, some of the same smells with the animals. It’s a very much in-character kind of thing that especially the certain age of the grandchildren really get wrapped up in because they’ve never seen anything like this. They had no way of envisioning what that era was like…Yeah, that was a real fun time watching the grandkids just eat it up”

Q3: What Are You Most Thankful For (Company-Wise) in 2017?

“Our granddaughter and good health; you can’t value good health too highly. [Also] the Lord’s taking care of our guys on the road—we’ve had good safety. And, just keeping our employees safe.”

Q4: What Are You Most Excited For in 2018?

“The sales have been growing, and particularly, the portion of the sales right now that has been growing at the highest rate, of course, is the export business. And food service, here in this country—that’s been growing very nicely. But the export business has been a phenomena that none of the family, none of us, could have ever foreseen. That has been growing at the extent that we have to do something. There’s times when that the bakery and Valdosta are just running wall-to-wall and since…the highest percentage of that production moves through the system out of that plant because of food service…that makes the most sense to do the expansion down in that area.

“Getting the project and Valdosta under control…It’s always an intense time, but thankfully God’s provided an awful lot of help in getting the different phases here going and now [line] sixteen down there—to get that one to come together and be efficient in an operation and being able to put fresh product out in February of ’19.”

Q5: What Are Your Hopes for Martin’s® in 2018?

“Well…we always hope for God’s blessing on the effort for the whole team because, ‘in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths’ (Proverbs 3:6), and we can do the best we can, but another verse says ‘you can prepare the horse for battle but the battle’s victory is from the Lord’ (Proverbs 21:31). And that’s kind of the way we have to look at it because when I look at where we came from in ’55, to where we are today…Yeah, we work hard. We got a great team. But God’s been blessing it, or we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Q6: Are There Any Surprises in Store for Martin’s® in the Coming Year?

“Best surprise is no surprise! Yeah, we have certain accounts that we’d like to start serving and some expanding in certain accounts, and I guess it’s not exactly a surprise…but it would be very helpful to all of us—distribution, accounting, manufacturing—if we got some more complete authorizations…you can put certain products in and not other products, and obviously it’s more business but it also is less confusing in the distribution and for the sales guys out there on the street.”

Q7: If You Set a New Year’s Resolution for Martin’s® in 2018, What Would it Be?

“Really, my hope is for this coming year is for success and [for] so many people—from engineering to sales to production people—to be able to…click off the boxes that we have set up for our goals for each of the departments. It’s obviously good for the company, [but] there’s also a fulfillment in the people that are working toward those goals. And so for the coming year that would be the greatest thing I can think of.”

Q8: If Your Mom and Dad Were Here Now – What Do You Think They Would Say?

“Well, if they didn’t have the physical evidence, they’d tell me I was lying. ‘Cause there’s no way. See, Father passed away in ’98. Mother passed away about three or four years ago and we just never…I don’t know; I give credit to our people here because some may have envisioned, for instance, Canada and international business, but none of us probably envisioned being in Tokyo, and Moscow, and different places of the world…So, I know my dad—he would probably sit there and just laugh out loud. And mother would just smile from ear to ear. How else? I don’t think they’d have any other way of dealing with it!”

Q9: Any Final Thoughts?

“I would just encourage people to make up their mind when they get together with their family, to stay positive, and make the most of the moment ’cause time flies and when you look back, you wonder why you didn’t. And you find out, even though you have to exert some self-control from time to time, that over the years you’re very thankful you did it. You don’t want to burn bridges; you want to decorate them.”


Watch the full interview here:


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