Minnesota’s CHRi Labs is More than Chemical Bonds

There’s a strong family bond at CHRi’s labs! If your company is pharmaceutical related and in the Midwest USA, you may want to focus your microscope on CHRi Labs. This is especially true if you like a special sense of caring...

by | Feb 13, 2023

CHRi is a family owned Food Laboratory

Henry Larmie and Brad Larmie in their St. Paul, Minnesota Lab

There’s a strong family bond at CHRi’s labs!

If your company is pharmaceutical related and in the Midwest USA, you may want to focus your microscope on CHRi Labs. This is especially true if you like a special sense of caring and hand-holding that comes from working with a family-owned laboratory.  At this Minnestoa laboratory, you just might become part of the Larmie family!
While ChRi Labs was founded in 2007 by Henry Larmie in St. Paul, Minnesota, son Brad Larmie gravitated away from working for the family-owned laboratory and took his science degree in Pharmaceutical Sales for 3 years.   With his parent’s strong pull ( probably much love) and efforts to attract him into the family-owned Midwest lab, Brad’s resolve weakened and he decided to work for his family’s laboratory CHRi.

Lab Business Reactivity between a Father and Son  🙁

Despite the strong pull to come on board, both father and son experienced some reactivity during the first phase of Brad’s tenure with CHRi Laboratories.  While it was far from a nuclear reaction, there were some peaks in determining Bard’s role and responsibility.  According to the Larmies, the hardest part of a family lab business is determining the level and role of bringing your children into the laboratory business. Of course, Brad’s eyes sparked as bright as electrons and gravitated towards a Director or Vice President role – particularly with using his business acumen and sales experience in heading up the Sales Department.  Instead, parents were hoping that Brad would become a food science Einstein and propel pharmaceutical science to new heights.  But being the smart leader and businessman,  Henry settled upon a Laboratory Business Development role that was more suited to his son’s personality and building a legacy at CHRi’s laboratory.  Henry felt laboratory business development would ingrain a sense of being in the company for the long game (are these two also Minnesota Twins baseball sports fans?) and building  CHRi for a very successful future.
With the role in Laboratory Business Development decided upon by Henry, the next jump was determining the level to bring Brad on board.  Starry-electron-eyed Brad, of course, wanted a laboratory executive role. Laboratory business leader Henry knew that a Laboratory Executive role would neither be feasible nor a good decision for the laboratory. But if Henry hired him too low, he felt the motivation element would suffer. But if he hired him too high, it would look unfair to the other employees and undermine the laboratory team culture that Henry worked to cultivate.  In weighing these issues, Brad was happily brought in as a Laboratory Business Development Manager.  A role suited for father and son.

 Next comes the laboratory employment salary

 Money issues are hard to talk about with anyone, but family makes it an extremely difficult situation. According to

Salary considerations at family owned laboratories

Salary considerations at family-owned laboratories

Brad, children working for their parents must have patience in working with their parents in terms of laboratory employment salary.  While he feels parents could try to pay you less (or sometimes more) than you feel you are worth, you must consider the additional stock equity and be understanding of your new ownership role which may warrant taking a lower salary for longer-term gain.

In the family-owned lab and on the lab  job!

Walking into your new office in the family-owned business means there might be quite an adjustment in expectations and what you actually get to do in the laboratory business. According to Brad,  he uses the word “get” to do in bold because your parent bosses may still dictate how you operate in that role and the actual responsibilities that you may actually have.  Parents as bosses have a hard time landing their “helicopter-parent” ways and are less likely to give you the chances you want.  Perhaps, they are afraid to see you fail and continue to hover with both parent and child having their own ideas.  In Brad’s case, these ideas are centered around technology and generational influences.
Being a millennial, Brad pushes for everything that has a technological option to it, and in a laboratory business, this is a great deal of the business!  Even when these technologies are needed, he notices a major difference in the preferred technology between the younger and the older generation.   Therefore, they are working hard together to find the perfect blend of both. A blend that allows the technology method to be current, but not too advanced where my parents or older clients would feel uncomfortable.
In this, it seems Brad and Henry are acting like a stable molecule that has developed a good environmental field for the growth of CHRi Labs in a growing city with good values like St. Paul Minnesota. Below both father and son have graciously shared some tips to help other family-owned laboratories like CHRi’s Labs.


Advice for children in family-owned laboratories

  • Absorb as much knowledge as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask every question you have.
  • Be patient. You are young, there is so much to learn and when you personally feel ready may not be the best time.
  • Believe in yourself. Working for your parents is overwhelming but it is unbelievably rewarding.
  • Find your strengths. Don’t worry about what you are bad at, everyone is bad at something. Find that niche of what you think you would be best at.
Advice for parents in family-owned laboratories
  • Be patient with your kids. There is so much to learn from them too
  • Give them opportunities to grow within the company as laboratory businessmen and women
  • Don’t treat your children as kids at work. Provide a very equal workplace. Can create a negative work environment if employees feel as if you are favoring your child over them
  • Help your kids discover what avenue of the business they find the most important and to love. If you force them to do a role it does not help the longevity of the laboratory business.

If you have any questions about bringing a child into a family-owned laboratory business, both Henry and Brad Larmie would be happy to share more of their experiences. And if you are a pharmaceutical manufacturer looking for a tight-knit family-owned lab, they are looking forward to having you bond with their laboratory family!  To read more about CHRi Labs’ services , please visit the  Contract Laboratory Profile for CHRi Labs


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