Play Video

Lawrence Suarez

Episode 155

From Corporate Home to Funeral Entrepreneurship

Lawrence Suarez, a proud native of Los Angeles and first-generation Filipino, has deep roots in California, with cherished memories of growing up in its diverse landscape. Fond of the tradition of dining in Alhambra for dim sum, he embraces the rich cultural tapestry of his community.

Beginning his journey into the funeral profession in 2011, Lawrence gained initial experience at a corporate funeral home. Prior to that, he served in the California National Guard until 2016, embodying a commitment to service that defines his life.

Driven by a vision to offer dignified yet affordable cremation services, Lawrence founded Allay Cremation and Direct Cremation LA. Rooted in accessibility and compassion, their mission ensures every family receives the care and support they deserve during difficult times. Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, Allay Cremation was established, with its first office in the historic Pasadena Playhouse District. Recently, they relocated their headquarters to Old Town Pasadena, reflecting their growth and dedication to the community.

While operations are centered in Pasadena, their reach extends across Southern California, reflecting their commitment to serving diverse communities throughout the region. Lawrence’s journey from military service to the funeral profession exemplifies his unwavering dedication to serving others, guided by principles of compassion, integrity, and respect.

Best way to contact

Lawrence Suarez Quotes

“We serve families. I don’t like to call them customers. They’re more just families to us.”

“This profession is about caring more about people than I did about myself, other people’s needs before myself.”

“We only have one shot to do everything right. The first impression is what is a lasting impression.”

“Sometimes death is unexpected, so they don’t have the financial means to afford a memorial service.”

“The grieving process really starts after you know when they’re making arrangements.”

“Everyone pays for insurance, right? You’re paying for something that you don’t know will happen. The only thing you know that will happen is death.”

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the world these days when it comes to sales.”

“I always joked around in our office, ‘Why don’t we just start our own funeral home?’”

“It’s not common knowledge to know what happens when a person dies.”

“I enjoy drinking a good tequila now these days, but this [tequila bottle urn] is significant because when I hit 100 family members that I served, I said, ‘Let me just get something to commemorate that.’”

Community Connection Through Funeral Services

Lawrence discussed the profound community connection experienced while working at a local funeral home in Monrovia. He observed how families would casually visit to chat with the staff, highlighting a personal touch that corporate funeral homes often lack.


Passion for Service in Funeral Industry

Lawrence shared his journey through various roles in the funeral industry, including his time at Forest Lawn and Neptune Society. His consistent interest in serving families during their time of need ultimately led him to establish his own cremation service.


Challenges of Grieving and Planning

The interview touched on the emotional and logistical challenges faced when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Lawrence emphasized the importance of pre-planning to alleviate the intensity of grief and ensure a smooth process.


Founding of Allay Cremations

Lawrence founded Allay Cremations to provide a direct and personal cremation service. The company focuses on affordability and simplicity, catering to families who have not pre-planned for end-of-life services.


Music Credits

Like it Loud, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Scarlet Fire (Sting), Otis McDonald, YouTube Audio Library

Indecision, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Picture of Lawrence Suarez

Lawrence Suarez

Monrovia Friday Night Street Fair: Lawrence enjoys the community vibe and the convenience of the Friday night market in Monrovia. The local street fair and the movie theater in the area hold a special place in his heart.

NBC Seafood in Monterey Park: A favorite spot for dim sum, Lawrence and his family have frequented NBC Seafood for its traditional cart service and delicious offerings. It’s a weekend tradition that has made a lasting impression on him.

Old Town Pasadena: Lawrence loves the dynamic atmosphere of Old Town Pasadena, praising the influx of new restaurants and the convenience of having his office located there. The area’s evolution continues to excite him, making it a significant part of his life in the SGV.