The entrepreneurial spirit of Brad Cox, his wife Sandy Langsford-Cox and the Langsford family goes beyond just owning and operating the venerable Langsford Funeral Home, which in 2014 celebrates 80 years of business.
Also under the family’s umbrella of business is the real estate firm Langsford Development; Emaline Ballroom; Langsford Prearrangement, the prearranged funeral counterpart to Langsford Funeral Home; and Five Petals flower shop.
In all, Langsford Development operates more than 100,000 square feet of residential property and strip mall space. The service provided by Langsford Funeral is well-documented and Langsford Prearrangement serves a s a companion to that by allowing families to purchase prearranged funeral services.
Emaline Ballroom was developed as a event space for wedding receptions, corporate meetings and the like, and Five Petals serves as almost an in-house flower shop for the family’s funeral home.
The entrepreneurial climate and growth potential of Lee’s Summit over the last two decades made all of those endeavors possible, Brad Cox, a former film and television producer, said.
“When we first bought things, I did look at Lee’s Summit from a standpoint of did I want to make the investment in Lee’s Summit because that was a big stake,” he said. “I hadn’t done that on my own before. It was a big career change, big financial commitment. Is Lee’s Summit a good place to do that? Am I ready to roll those dice in that community?
“And it was definitely the community at that time to do it. As we’ve gone forward it has remained that. It has gotten progressively tougher (because of growth and more complicated business matter), but it’s still a great place to do business. It’s still a ton of potential here and the city has been really good about addressing that change.”
The family opened Emaline Ballroom in 2006 and Five Petals in 2012. Both are still up and running strong Langsford-Cox said.
“It has been a success,” she said of Five Petals. “I felt we had a need. Sitting here at my office at the funeral home and looking across the street – we own the building. I knew we would have an opening and I knew we had needs at the funeral home. I asked Brad - my grandpa had been in the flower business – why not, let’s try it? And he was very gracious to agree. After thinking and chewing on it, we put it together, but it came from the customer's needs here at the funeral home.”