SCHENECTADY — When the three Teixeira siblings of Glenville head to work each morning, they all end up at the same place.
That's because they work together to run a total of nine Schenectady area Dunkin' Donuts. Each plays their own role in the business, which they grew up in through their father.
The three individually oversee operations, human resources and training, and they do so without impacting their family connections, they say.
"We're very lucky because we all have our own areas where we work well together, and we also have our own stuff that we do," Natasha said recently. "But we're really close, so we always back each other up and no matter what, we're always on each other's side.
"That's what makes our business successful," she added.
Sisters Natasha and Nicole and brother Miguel Teixeira recently celebrated the opening of their ninth Dunkin' Donuts, the one near Mohawk Harbor and Rivers Casino & Resort.
The Dunkin', which shares a building with Capital Bank near the entrance to the casino. It's a handy place for gamblers, commuters and passers-by alike to grab a hot cup of coffee and a donut to fuel their day.
The Teixeiras' connection to the donut business goes back to their father, Carlos, and their uncles and has roots in Rhode Island and Portugal.
The family originated in Rhode Island and moved to the Capital Region, when the children were young. That's when Carlos and his brothers opened some Dunkin' franchises.
The initial efforts were met with some hardships, said Miguel, recalling of the family's story. His two uncles soon sold their stakes to Carlos and moved back to Portugal.
Carlos then forged on, Miguel recalled.
"He just kept at it until it started making him some money, and now this is where we stand," Miguel said.
With their father in the business, Miguel, Natasha and Nicole knew little else growing up.
They spent time in the stores from the earliest ages, they recalled.
They worked and they learned.
"This is literally the only job I've ever had," Miguel recalled. "I grew up behind the counter, playing on the registers. We worked our way through here."
From crew members, they became managers and shift leaders. Miguel even recalls making donuts for a while.
Miguel, 32, graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a degree in business and economics. He oversees operations for the network of nine stores. Natasha, 34, oversees the office and human resources, while Nicole, 31, handles training and new hires.
They divide everything equally. Their father also still has a hand in the business.
"We work together every single day," Miguel said. "I really couldn't do it without them."
"This is what I've always wanted to do," Miguel added. "I grew up watching my dad do it. I look up to him with pretty much everything I've got."
The siblings own the new restaurant on Rush Street, the Freeman's Bridge Road location and both on Route 50 in Glenville. They own the Rexford Dunkin' Donuts and four down Interstate 88 stretching to Cobleskill.
The nine stores employ about 144 people.
The donut business has undergone changes over the years, including recently. Dunkin' Donuts announced in January a company-wide menu simplification effort to focus on their core products.
Miguel was optimistic about the changes, calling it an effort to speed up service and focus on the items that make up the largest percentage of sales.
"It's always been donuts and coffee," Miguel said. "That's always been our bread and butter. Fast food is all about being fast and we're just trying to be fast for our customers."
Miguel said he sees big things with their new location near the casino.
The area has become a destination, and he's excited to be a part of it.
"It's really, it's brought Schenectady to a new level I think, and Mohawk Harbor, I believe, is going to be a really great meeting point for a lot of people," he said.
"There's a good group of businesses down here that are really going to attract a lot of people," he said.
And the Teixeira family will be there to be a part of it.
Nicole said they're mindful of impacts that mixing family and work can have. So, when they have to make a decision on something, they hear each other out, vote and move on.
"We've always told each other that if it ever put a rift between us, then we would be done with that part of it because more important was the family aspect of it," Nicole said.
"The family part comes first," she said, "and then business."