Articles by Bill Lewis

Still Family-Owned After Three Decades, Aquarama Grapples With Its Future

In the beginning, Bob Shearer built vinyl liner pools. The vinyl liner pool was to the pool industry what the Volkswagen was to the auto industry: It created an affordable, easy-to-build pool for the middle class.

After Many Ups—and a Lot of Downs—This Atlanta-Based, Family-Run Company Shows What It Takes to Succeed in Business

Family run businesses require a lot of work, but Aquarama Pools is a story that swims against the tide. The water hasn’t always been calm, but a second and upcoming third generation of Shearer family progeny have managed to weather the effects of stormy seas.

A “Smart” Move From The Corporate World To Entrepreneurship

After having lost his "C" suite corporate job, Ned Goepp decided to switch professional paths. By purchasing an ailing SmartBox franchise in Atlanta, he managed to reignite both the company and his career.

At Mercier Orchards, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Family Tree

It started as a business built on apples, and 71 years later, apples are still the basis of the thriving Blue Ridge, Georgia, enterprise known as Mercier Orchards. Fifty varieties of apples are now grown on the majority of the 300 acres surrounding the orchard store. And while apples are still at the business' core, the family-run operation has expanded to include a deli, bakery, restaurant, a winery with a tasting room, barrels and barrels of apples, and lots of local and Georgia state products.