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.
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.
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.