Chief Financial Officer
Creating a must-have product is every entrepreneur's dream, and husband and wife team Ken and Evelyn Mueller had it. In 1999, Evelyn was working for an automated valve distributor and Ken was working for a local fabrication shop. They knew there was an industry-wide problem of mounting brackets not fitting automated valves properly and, after talking with several local valve distributors, they realized that they had the experience to fill this void in the market.
There was only one little problem. The Mueller's needed funding.
"The hardest part of starting a new business is finding the capital to purchase what you need to move forward. Ken went to several banks and lending institutions, only to be turned down over and over again. A friend suggested we talk to Kevin Baker at Texas Gulf Bank, and that's when everything changed. Texas Gulf Bank believed in us. Kevin took the time to listen to our ideas, understand our business, and help us make our vision a reality."
With a commercial loan from Texas Gulf Bank, the Mueller's purchased two critical pieces of equipment needed to develop the brackets. While maintaining his full-time job as a fabricator, Ken spent his evenings in the corner of a friend's shop developing his product and building a customer base. Six months after receiving the initial loan from Texas Gulf Bank, Ken and Evelyn left their full-time jobs. They became President and Chief Financial Officer of Mueller Manufacturing respectively, and moved the company into rented space in Richwood, Texas" and they've never looked back.
"Every time we've needed a new piece of equipment, we've called Kevin at Texas Gulf Bank. There is a level of comfort, trust, and mutual respect with him that you don't find with just anyone. He never fails to make himself available when we need him, and he's been a trusted partner to us as we've built and expanded our business. We've grown to appreciate and depend on that trust over the years."
After three years in rented space, the Mueller's obtained a commercial real estate loan from Texas Gulf Bank and built their own shop in Richwood. Since that time, they have expanded twice and purchased additional equipment, all financed through Texas Gulf Bank. Mueller Manufacturing now produces a wide variety of fabricated and welded products in addition to mounting brackets for valves. They have grown from 3 employees and 5 customers when they opened in 2000, to 21 employees and more than 125 customers today.
Commercial lending isn't the only service the Mueller's have come to rely on at Texas Gulf Bank. As the person responsible for the day-to-day business operations, Evelyn has also come to depend on the commercial checking account and online banking features offered. "Having the ability to instantly check account balances, transfer funds, and review transactions has proven to be extremely beneficial for me. I no longer have to sort through stacks of paper statements to track funds or review balances. It saves me an enormous amount of time to have that kind of accessibility 24/7."
What began as a simple desire to develop a better product turned into a passion that Evelyn and Ken could not have fulfilled without the help of Texas Gulf Bank.
Since Texas Gulf Bank opened its first branch in Freeport, Texas in 1913, it has been a strong, stable, and financially secure member of the community.We are proud to play a part in building companies like Mueller Manufacturing. Together we are building a shared legacy of success both for ourselves and for our clients -- and that's a relationship you can bank on.
If you would like to see your business featured in the "Face-to-Face" with Texas Gulf Bank, contact us and share your story. You could be featured in the next online and ad series.
View the Mueller Manufacturing "Meet Our Customers" ad - PDF
View the Mueller Manufacturing "Meet Our Customers" poster - PDF