Maintaining a sense of history and addressing new challenges allow family-owned bakeries like Clyde’s Delicious Donuts, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, to focus on tomorrow.

“Even though we’re a family business, what’s best for the business comes first,” noted Josh Bickford, executive vice president, strategic initiatives and fourth generation family member, in Baking & Snack’s April report on family bakeries.

Too many legacy businesses, however, get stuck in the past.

“You’ve heard of the 100-year rule that says, ‘We have always done it that way.’ We try to get away from that type of thinking,” Mr. Bickford said.

This mindset is one of the many reasons why some family bakeries succeed and others do not, especially when faced with one of those many watershed moments in a company’s history. For Clyde’s, the latest turning point came just a few years ago, when the donut producer pivoted from fresh to frozen distribution to serve the shifts in the in-store bakery channel. More recently, it launched a rebranding initiative that leverages the fun of donuts with the “smiles all around” campaign.

“We have this wonderful legacy business of donuts, but there is not a more fun product to be making than donuts,” Mr. Bickford said.

At Clyde’s, he sees the potential future in his young children and the excitement in their eyes seeing that their father is the “cool dad” who makes donuts. And besides, who knows what the fifth generation will bring?

“I think there are still plenty of donuts to be made,” Mr. Bickford said.

That’s how a successful business survives and keeps it a family affair.