By Chris Bavender
When Greg and Cindy Glaros got married in 1981 the only partnership on their minds was the one made official on the marriage license.
The couple had two children – Gina, now 27; and Jonny, now 25. Cindy stayed home to raise the kids – Greg found himself busy in the corporate world – rising to VP at the former Carmel-based Thompson Consumer Electronics. But the long hours and constant travel began to wear.
“I traveled all over the country, Paris a few times a year, and just found that I was spending a lot of time away from my family and the kids,” Greg said.
That led to talk of leaving his 20-year career behind and joining forces with Cindy to open a family business. It was a move Cindy supported despite knowing they’d be merging their business and private lives.
“I had a few qualms but I really was for it,” she said. “I liked the idea of him being home more and being a family business.”
The couple originally thought they might open a pizza business.
“We started down that path and then I was talking to my brother-in-law while I was still at RCA and he told me I should open a Handels,” Greg said. “They had just started to franchise and we grew up on it and were familiar with it – it’s an institution in Youngstown (Ohio). So, we met with them and they liked us and thought we could do the job.”
Fast forward a little more than a year later and – in June of 2002 – the Glaros’ opened a Handels in Fishers. The two worked long hours side by side at the shop to not only make sure the business ran smoothly and gained momentum, but often scooping up ice cream for customers. Their kids helped them after school.
“I think it probably was a much different environment than we were used to because I was traveling a lot and leaving at 7 a.m. and back 7 at night and were just so happy to be together,” Greg said.
For Cindy, the change meant learning to communicate more effectively as a couple – and as business partners.
“I always go back to communicating and having an open mind and listening to each other,” she said. “It sounds cliché but I think that is the key. We are with each other so much so when something is on our minds we just talk about it right then and there.”
That communication was key to the couple opening a second store in Carmel two years later in 2004.
“We found our groove in terms of what we were doing in business with paperwork and bills and making ice cream,” Greg said. “I say this all the time but balance is the key to everything.”
That, and still making time to pursue their individual interests.
“We find things to do on our own and have some time apart ,” Greg said. “We try to keep a good mix of work, family and time on our own.”
And it just makes the time together that much sweeter.
“I think we view this as a family thing versus a couple thing.” Greg said. “It’s about being together and not traveling and knowing we are putting all this effort into for our family.”