Spotlight: Larkin Mortuary
Contact: Lance Larkin
Twenty-two years ago, Selected approached Larkin Mortuary about membership. This was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship which led to the creation of our Funeral Home and Cemetery Management Community. We have been connecting cemetery owners and equipping them to transform care ever since.
Like other firms, Larkin Mortuary experienced service limitations due to the pandemic. Now that restrictions have lifted, the funeral home’s community outreach program is as strong as ever.Community Outreach
In August, the firm holds an annual charity golf tournament. This year, the event sold out with 144 players participating. Larkin Mortuary contributed $15,000 from the tournament to a program which helps underprivileged elementary school students go on field trips.
One of Larkin’s locations hosts a trunk or treat in partnership with a Salvation Army food drive. “We didn’t know what to expect [this year] because it’s been out for two years,” said Lance Larkin, the President and CEO of Larkin’s group of companies. The event featured food trucks, a clown, face painting, a pumpkin patch and even a petting zoo with a kangaroo and wallaby. With participation from local businesses, the event was a great success, drawing more than 600 children.
Another Larkin location offers a seniors club for anyone 55 and older every Tuesday. Musical groups provide entertainment and others give educational lectures.
Larkin also supports charity organizations such as Wreaths Across America and the University of Utah College of Nursing grief program. “We’re always supporting whatever we feel is a worthy cause in the community.”Corporate Strategy
While community relations play an important role in funeral service, the significance of a firm’s corporate strategy cannot be overstated. Larkin recalled, “Way back when I was a business student, there was a professor who told me I needed to vertically integrate my business.” He understood this to mean running multiple lines of business which were connected to his main business. At the time, his family managed one funeral home. He took the advice to heart; and today he manages four funeral homes, two cemeteries, a burial vault company, an all-occasion florist shop and a wedding business.
Acknowledging the challenge of owning a cemetery, Larkin advises those considering a cemetery business, “You have to have a really good business and financial plan. A cemetery['s growth] is like a giant bell curve. You have to have a plan that is going to cover that whole curve.
“Cemeteries are so different than what they used to be. When we bought our cemetery, all the headstones were flat. We planned an area where you could put above-ground headstones and monuments. We also make all those headstones. The more you can control, the more successful you can be.”
Larkin adds, “Labor is always an issue with cemeteries. You’ve got to have the right type of labor. In order for you to compete with everybody else, the public has to be able to see that you’re on top of your game.”An Eye Toward the Future
Looking ahead to the future, Larkin and his team are taking a proactive approach. They are constantly exploring different cremation options and cemetery projects, with the goal of being the best provider of quality service for the best value.
With their vertically integrated business and eye toward the future, we believe Larkin Mortuaries will provide that service and value for many years to come.
To be featured in an upcoming Funeral Home and Cemetery Management Spotlight, email Cam Edwards or call 800-323-4219.