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Don Schnuck, the late patriarch of Schnuck Markets Inc., forewarned his children not to count on jobs at the family business.
"Our parents brought us up to prepare ourselves as if the company wasn't going to be there," said Scott Schnuck, president of metropolitan St. Louis' largest supermarket chain. The grocery business could hit hard times, or the children might not be interested in the business, he recalled his father saying.
"I remember right where I was when Dad said it," added younger brother Terry Schnuck, now the company's chief lawyer, who was in college at the time. "I was a passenger in the car, and we were heading west on U.S. 40 at McKnight."
It was not something their father would joke about. So the children trained for professional outside the family owned company - so well, several started their business careers elsewhere.
As it turned out, the grocery business the late brothers Don and Ed Schnuck built from a north St. Louis storefront their father, Edwin "Pop" Schnuck, and mother, Anna Donovan "Mom" Schnuck, started more than 56 years ago is still here - and thriving. And Don and Doris Schnuck ended up raising their own help.