John Rydman

John Rydman, President of Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods

John and Lindy Rydman, along with their daughter Lisa, are the third generation owners and operators of Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods in Houston. As one of Texas’ largest liquor stores and second-largest family-owned alcohol retailer in America, Spec’s has become a pillar in its community.

Spec’s is renowned for its support of small, independent wineries and specialty food vendors. Additionally, The Rydmans donate money to organizations like UNT’s One O’Clock Lab Band and the Houston Symphony.

Early Life and Education

John Rydman, President of Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods as well as a member of the Houston Symphony Board, hails from a family of businessmen; both his parents and grandfather owned hardware stores.

Early years in a child’s life are crucial for their brain connections and social skills development. Additionally, this period helps shape their sense of self-worth, moral outlook and world view.

Evidence indicates that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are essential for their later success, particularly in terms of learning and cognitive development. Research demonstrates how poverty, malnutrition, and inadequate early care and education can drastically hinder children from reaching these developmental milestones.

Professional Career

John Rydman is the president of Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods as well as a board member for the Houston Symphony. With more than 158 stores throughout Texas, Spec’s has grown into an expansive multi-million dollar company.

The company’s flagship downtown Houston location is its most successful store, boasting 5,000 square feet of deli and fine foods selection.

Customer service is the cornerstone of any successful retail operation. To achieve this, companies should prioritize employee needs and equip them with all necessary tools as well as offering incentives such as stock options. In turn, happy employees will go the extra mile for customers. Spec’s also boasts an impressive wine selection, sound product sourcing strategy and longstanding charitable spirit that dates back to 1962 when the company was founded.

Achievements and Honors

John Rydman, President of Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods for over four decades, has kept the family business afloat while growing it to include an 80,000 square foot warehouse on Smith Street in Houston’s Midtown and two new flagship locations on Southpark Boulevard. With more than 3,400 employees across the state of Florida, Spec’s has earned a reputation for excellent customer service and the elegance of their wares.

Rydman was also an integral participant in Spec’s recent fundraising event, Vintage Virtuoso. This wine dinner held at the home of the Houston Symphony raised more than $570,000 for music education and community outreach initiatives of the orchestra. As one of its longest-standing corporate sponsors, Spec’s is currently one of Houston Symphony’s largest annual sponsors since 1996.

Personal Life

John Rydman was raised in a musical family, starting to play piano at age 3 and saxophone by 6; while studying music education as a major at University of North Texas, John met his future wife Lindy.

The Rydmans have applied their expertise in music to train employees at Spec’s, where they also serve as president and co-owner. Their philosophy includes treating customers like family and grooming their staff to become leaders within the company.

They also give back to their alma mater, the University of North Texas, by awarding scholarships to children of Spec’s employees. Furthermore, Spec’s donates money towards music programs and the Houston Symphony. Furthermore, The Rydmans even took their buying staff on a trip to Ukraine where they got acquainted with vodka makers there.

Net Worth

John Rydman, his wife Lindy and daughter Lisa own and operate Spec’s Wines Spirits and Finer Foods – Texas’ largest family-owned liquor retailer. Established in 1962 with just one store, Spec’s has since blossomed into an expansive operation employing over 3,000 staff at 158 locations throughout Texas.

John and Lindy have been instrumental in building Spec’s to its current success. Utilizing their education at UNT, they’ve fostered an environment where employees feel appreciated. Furthermore, John and Lindy’s love of music has been channeled towards supporting UNT through donations, scholarships for UNT students, and support of the One O’Clock Lab Band. Spec’s is a dynamic family-run business which will likely remain that way for generations to come. Despite its many challenges, Spec’s has emerged as a valuable asset to Texas economic development while serving as an inspirational model for other companies across Texas.

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