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September 25, 2018

All in the Family: Bringing up Daughters in the Family Business

By Candace Rotolo

For more than 9 years, Copeland More’s marriage and family life has revolved around his historic family business, Tampa’s iconic La Segunda Central Bakery. Recently, fourth-generation owner Copeland and his wife, Stephanie, launched the company’s first expansion outside Ybor City. La Segunda Bakery & Café in South Tampa, which opened in July, is the culmination of Copeland’s vision to offer a location where guests can enjoy the Cuban sandwiches, pastries and café con leche that La Segunda is known for in a community café that offers seating for nearly 100 people.

The couple’s two young daughters, Lillian, 6, and Margaret, 3, are frequent visitors at the bakery and café. They’re learning at a young age what it’s like to be part of the family business. Tampa Bay Parenting sat down with the couple to learn more about how they balance a busy work life with their young family.

Q: How did you get started in the family business?

Copeland: I grew up working in the bakery in Ybor City as a kid. So did my siblings and cousins, but my dad, a third-generation owner, never pressured me to join the business. After college, I worked in commercial real estate. In 2009, my father’s cousin, who owned a part of the business, announced that he wanted to retire and I took over his share. It was good timing, and working alongside my father just seemed like the right thing to do.

Stephanie: My background is in sales. I wanted to support my husband in this new venture and
thought that some of my skills would be useful. After we had our first child, I worked to help
grow the bakery’s wholesale business. Now, I focus on marketing, social media and anything
else that needs to be done.

Q. How do you manage having meaningful family time with such demanding work schedules?

Stephanie: It can be challenging sometimes, but we’re lucky that we can do it together as a family. The girls come to the bakery in Ybor and the new café in South Tampa often. In the summer months, I try to work from home in the morning and spend time with the girls in the afternoon. The holidays are the busiest time of year, and we bring our daughters to work a bit more. They love to help with small tasks around the bakery. Our 6-year-old even loves to clean after closing. We couldn’t do this without our parents. We’re really lucky that both of our families are in Tampa.

Copeland: It’s all about balance. We frequently explain to our daughters why we work so hard. Our oldest daughter says she wants to take over the business one day, so she’s learning how much time and dedication it takes to be successful.

Q: What lessons do you want to instill in your daughters about the family business?

Copeland: We want to make sure our girls have a strong work ethic regardless of the career path they choose. If they decide to join the family business, we want them have the right tools to do it, to know that it’s hard work, long hours and that a lot of people will depend on them.

Stephanie: Whatever they decide to do in the future, we hope we’ve set a good example of what it means to be honest, fair and hardworking. And also that you can have fun and enjoy your job. We think they both have a very bright future ahead of them. La Segunda been in business for more than 100 years. It’s changed from generation to generation, so it will be exciting to see what they do if they choose to be a part of the family business.

If You Visit: La Segunda Bakery & Café @ 4015 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Hours: Sunday – Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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