Innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership have been very popular terms among the business public for a long time. Thousands of books, articles, seminars, webinars, and TV programs are devoted to these subjects every year. Good times and bad, they just keep coming. This book is about a company - C. Cretors & Company - that is the model for all those programs. During the height of the Industrial Revolution in ths country - during the time of Carnegie, Edison, Goodyear, and countless others - Charles Cretors invented the first automated popcorn-popping machine. The company's growth and development over 125 years are a textbook example of how to innovate, grow, prosper and lead.
But this story is about more than just his invention. He went on to embody the American ideal. He built a company and an industry around his original invention. In doing so, he not only helped others build their own companies and improve their lives, he helped create an American icon: popcorn and the popcorn wagon.
If that was the extent of the story, it would be admirable but not really that remarkable. There are hundreds - maybe thousands - of such success stories. But C. Cretors & Company has been different. It has been family-owned and operated for five generations, each of which did much more than just show up. Each generation of Cretors has made its own substantial contribution both to the company and to the advancement of the industry it has led. The character of that industry today is in a significant way due to all of their individual efforts.
This book, signed by the Cretors family, tells the tale of those innovations and the spirit of leadership and the personalities that created them. While many of these stories and inventions are truly remarkable, the most remarkable theme is the consistency of imagniation, innovation, and integrity across the generations. At 125 years that spirit remains strong.