Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010
Road to Palm Springs
Rich and Tricia Kaman
Kaman’s Art Shoppes
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Rich and Tricia Kaman met while they were summer employees at Cedar Point Amusement Park in their hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. Tricia worked at a small stand as a portrait artist. Rich managed the taffy shop. The couple married in 1970.
In the same year, three Cedar Point executives left the company and purchased Geauga Lake Amusement Park in Aurora, Ohio.
The new owners approached Tricia to set up an art operation for them at Geauga Lake. Kaman’s Art Shoppes was born. Rich helped guide the company with Tricia even as he pursued a full-time business career elsewhere.
The company soon won a contract to provide art services to Storybook Forest, a children’s park in western Pennsylvania.
More parks came along, more products were added, and over the next 30 years Kaman’s Art Shoppes expanded to offer more than 20 specialty art and photography products. Rich came on full-time in 1985.
Kaman’s Art Shoppes now serves more than 30 theme parks and zoos across the US and Canada.
The company focuses on increasing park revenue through art operations (such as portrait artists and face painting), photo operations (such as antique photos and ride photos), candy operations (such as Swiss fudge shops and candy apple carts) and specialty operations (such as hand-cut wood names and stamped leather bracelets).
Rich’s business skills, combined with Tricia’s talents as a classically trained and accomplished portrait artist, have created a corporate culture that encourages creativity as well as sound business practices.
Prospects are strong for further growth and diversification under continuing family leadership. Plans are in place for the couple’s son, Ben, to become the company’s primary manager over the next five years.