If there was a Mount Rushmore dedicated to the Maryland beverage business, surely Robert "Bob" J. Footlick would be one of the faces chiseled on it. The president of Bond Distributing Co. Footlick died of cancer on June 15 at his Pikesville, Md., home. Footlick went to work as a beer salesman in the mid-1960s for his future father-in-law, Edward Borow, who had established Bond Distributing Co. at Bond and Thames streets in Baltimore's Fells Point years earlier. After the death of his father-in-law in 1979, Footlick became president of the company and remained in that position until his recent passing.
It was a calling that almost didn't happen, though, as Footlick's first love was the legal system. He had every intention of becoming an attorney, having earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School where he majored in labor relations. His daughter, Leslie Footlick Schaller, stated, "When he graduated law school, my grandfather looked at him and very astutely said, 'Why in the world would you want to be an attorney when you could be in the beer business?!'"
Fortunately, her dad agreed, and the rest is local suds history. And like so many in the business today, Schaller owes a big debt to her father and mentor. Today, she herself serves as Bond Distributing's Director of Media and Marketing. She stated, "His big concern was creating a company culture where employees were passionate about the business, but also felt excited about getting up and going to work every day and secure in their roles and responsibilities. Many of our employees are multi-generational. We have lots of different generations of family members -- fathers and sons, husbands and wives, siblings. We're very proud to be a 21st century version of a family business that has, over the course of time, also grown to be a $100 million company."