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Key Idea: Build On Your Education

A classic family business, three generations of compassionate people are involved at every level of the operations. They left Cuba with nothing when Castro took over and today their pharmacies are the most productive in the USA.  More...

Key Question:


Start a business in an area that you have experience in,  knowledge of or contacts that will help smooth the way to success. Jose was smart to start a pharmacy since he had learned so much working in his father's pharmacy back in Cuba.  Jose trained as a pharmacist then opened for business with deep knowledge of retail and customer service.

Q:  What does the phrase "success breeds success" mean to you?

A:  People who accomplish one goal are likely to accomplish the next goal they set.  Achievement fosters an inner knowing. Also, success builds confidence and this quality is absolutely essential for a small business owner. If you don't have confidence that your idea will succeed, you will not attract employees or customers.

You need a strong ego, not a big ego.  Sometimes confidence appears as arrogance to others. Gerhard Von der Rhur, founder of CritiCare, told us that a small business owner needs a strong ego, not a big ego. He said that a person with a big ego is arrogant and doesn't see the value of others, whereas a person with a strong ego has deep belief that he can accomplish the task at hand.

A strong ego is attractive to others while a big ego is off-putting.

Q:  Should you get your children and your nieces and nephews involved in your business at a young age?

A:  Absolutely! Teaching the next generation the value of the customer relationship is a responsibility we all have and what better place to do it than in your own business?

This isn't succession planning, but seizing the opportunity to expand a young person's horizons in terms of the inner workings of a small business and the criticality of the service concept.

Of course your son or daughter would benefit from seeing the link between your customers and that trip to Disneyworld you took last year or the designer footwear (s)he wants when school starts.

Seeing is believing and no matter how much we tell our children, they are more influenced by their own observations of what we do and who we are than how we instruct them to behave. Bringing the young members of your family into your business at an early age, after school and/or during the summer, provides them with an opportunity to expand their horizons well beyond their academic curriculum and recreational school activities.

Let them see how hard you work, how much you value your employees and customers.

Think about it

What insight do you have that may be unique?  What kind of business could you start that would depend upon your inside knowledge or experience?  What are you doing now to teach your children how  business works from the inside out?

Clip from: Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Miami: In this city, a destination for new Spanish-speaking Americans, finding somebody who understands you, knows and feels your pain, is a seismic relief. With a profound empathy, this family's business is committed to service and to solving very big problems for their customers.

With an abiding willingness-to-serve, this family's business is one of the most profitable per square foot of any retail store in the USA. When we taped this story there were 12 locations generating $160 million in annual sales and jobs for nearly 600.

So many new medicines are announced every day, it is almost impossible for anyone to keep up. But, those new Americans with a limited command of English, and our elders who are taking multiple medicines, have special challenges.

This family has always been committed to serving their customers. Eighteen-hour days, seven-days-a-week -- whatever it took to get the job done and keep their customers in good health -- these people have done it.
In the process, they have created a first-class business.

Opened in the United States in 1961, the two sons became pharmacists; and today, with 600+ employees, they have become the most productive pharmacy per square foot in the USA and they are a force for good that is helping to reshape Miami as a world-class community.

A classic family business, three generations of compassionate people are involved at every level of the operations.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Jose Navarro, CEO

5959 NW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33142

Visit our web site:

Office: 305-633-3000

Business Classification:
Retail, Pharmacy

Year Founded: 1961

Build On Your Education

HATTIE: Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. In the next few minutes, you'll learn about one of America's most fascinating family businesses. Everything was taken away from them in 1961, but today, you see their name all over Miami.

You see, Fidel Castro couldn't take away their knowledge or their desire to own their own business. You are about to experience our Master Class.

Jose and Luis Navarro will tell you step by step how they created something from nothing, how they learned the language of a new country and at the same time never forgot their roots.

HATTIE:    (Voiceover) This is a love story, and this man started it all from his pharmacy in Havana. Jose Navarro Sr. opened his business in 1940, and his sons grew up in Cuba watching him take care of people.

Maria Navarro is in charge of the payroll. She is Luis's wife.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jose Jr. and Luis Navarro have built the most productive pharmacy chain in the US. Here, they sell more per square foot than any other pharmacy chain in the country. And on any given day, they fill more prescriptions per store than any other. That means they beat the big boys like CVS and Walgreen and Rite Aid and Eckerd and everybody else. How?

They love it. And they love their families, and their families love the business, too.

Gloria, Jose's wife, and Maria, Luis' wife, both work in the business. And now Jose and Gloria's children Marcel, Gabriel and Patricia are putting their minds and hearts to the task of growing the company.

GABRIEL NAVARRO: I'm going back, you know, to seven, eight years old. We'd always work in the stores here during the summer and on the weekends.

PATRICIA NAVARRO: It's pretty much inbred in us, I guess.

MARCEL NAVARRO: Well, I think I've been here since birth. But I've...

HATTIE: Yeah, since birth. (Voiceover) The Navarro family is seeing what loving customers for over 30 years brings. It brings 12 stores, generating $160 million in annual sales and jobs for nearly 600. All because one family pulled together in the same direction. After Castro came to power, Jose's family sent him to the US, where he swept floors in a drugstore to make a living.

JOSE: I start there. And then little by little, I went from cleaning the floors to working behind the counter to store manager.

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