New Jersey's Baker's Acres Truly a Family Business
When Jack Baker, 54, and his wife, Maureen, 50, go to work at Baker's Acres Campground at the edge of the Pinelands in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J., it's like attending a family reunion.
All three of the Bakers' children – Monica Baker-Frazer 29; John, 26; and Jason, 25 – work at the campground and live in Little Egg Harbor Township, like their parents, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
"It's really cool to work with my dad and my mom, brother and sister. I enjoy the creative process. You get more freedom here than you would at a different job," John Baker said.
Jack Baker knows what it's like to work at your dad's business. Baker took over campground operations when his dad died in 1977, but he never pressured his children to make the family business their careers. Jason Baker traveled to California to try to make his living as an actor. John Baker considered entering the military to become a pilot. Monica Baker-Frazer tried real estate.
"When my kids were growing up, I gave them the freedom to chase their dreams because that was important to me that they had their chance to do whatever they wanted to do. The door was open for them to come back," Jack Baker said.
Each family member has his or her own responsibilities, but the whole family works together to do landscaping and projects. Jack Baker will listen to different points of view and opinions, but if necessary, he will make the final decision. He also handles the job of making troublemakers leave the campground.
And when working in the family business, pleasing the boss brings its own special rewards, said son Jason.
"Because it is a high-stress environment with people always having problems, when he (Jack) can relax, when he smiles, when we can make him laugh – those are my proudest moments," Jason said.