by Bonnie Mays
Do you know that feeling when you walk into a place and just know it’s a hometown business?
If you’ve been around Johnson County any amount of time, you’ve certainly come across a business that has been started, impacted or worked with Derek Scheler. Maybe you’ve had a grilled stuffed avocado and an icy cold beer while listening to live music at The Spice Rack Bar & Grill. Perhaps your neighbor had a new roof installed by Lone Star Roofing and Contracting. If so, you’ve experienced the kind of hometown feeling that we’re referring to.
Small and local businesses impact their communities by creating jobs, aiding in growth and contributing to the local economy. Lone Star Roofing, The Spice Rack, and many of the businesses that Scheler has been involved with have proven to do this quite well over the years.
Born and raised in Burleson, Derek is a class of 2000 graduate of Burleson High School. Starting after high school at a national delivery company, he cultivated several relationships and friendships that led to partnerships and business ventures. A community-minded self-made entrepreneur, he started his businesses with people in mind. We had a chance to talk to the owner and entrepreneur to get a grasp on how success has grown from one small business to a multi-million dollar entity!
Lone Star Roofing was started in 2008 after a tornado in the area and grew to add additional team members in 2009. Derek invited others to come alongside him because he saw the growth potential in the business. Starting out with just three salespeople and five or six contractors, Lone Star has grown to over 400 contractors at the present time. Still working with some of the same crews that began in 2008, the company has cultivated an environment that people are excited to be part of. The sales team has grown from the original three to 25 independent salespeople currently. A place to work, learn, and grow has created loyal employees. Through working with others in the community, Derek and his team have found they can share industry tips with one another to help equip others with their own businesses.
Lone Star Roofing has many loyal employees and contractors. One in particular is Stephanie, Derek’s office manager. She handles all of the team’s inner workings in the business office including billing and payroll, and keeps it on a steady track. Stephanie has made a great impact in taking over some of those daily tasks for Derek. After she was able to prove to him that she could help run the business, it allowed him to grow their other businesses.
When you walk into their office in Old Town you can tell it is a fun place to work. Everyone is cutting jokes and just having a good time. It feels a lot like family. The two women of the crew are able to hold their own just fine amongst all the men and break up a little of the testosterone in the building.
Derek is just a good guy to work with. He is known to be reliable, relatable, and eager to assist in the growth of people around him. Derek is also the first to tell you that he isn’t the smartest person in the room. He is humble and has surrounded himself with smart business people from the very beginning. He speaks highly of others, he shared with us about The Spice Rack partners, Billy and Kattie, as they really make an impact with their hard work.
Because of his work in real estate, he has been able to try different business ventures. He has only had one failing business but because of his investments in real estate, he was able to recover from it pretty quickly. He asked the right questions on how to start using real estate to help him leverage his business opportunities.
When asked about what he would say about success, Derek told us, “Stay friends with everyone you deal with in business and life, and help others. And don’t burn a bridge because you never know where that relationship can help you out in the future.” We can see that his hometown businesses are going to be contributing to the community for years to come!