Legacy and family businesses are rare. They not only survive the ups and downs of business cycles, but they keep their doors open and customers keep coming in for lifetimes, sometimes for three or four generations.
Three local legacy businesses — Booches, American Shoe and L.C. Betz Associates have become part of the business fabric of mid-Missouri. Each of these businesses has beaten the odds. Booches, one of the longest-lived businesses in Columbia was founded in 1884. American Shoe can trace its roots back to 1919, when a Lebanese immigrant who barely knew the English language opened his store in Jefferson City. And L.C. Betz Associates can be traced back to 1941, when Glenn Betz opened his first jewelry store in St. Louis. Although each of these businesses survived for different reasons, they have one thing in common: They continue doing something right that brings customers and, eventually, the children of customers back for more.