The Butler is now serving customers in St. Louis.
Adam McCollough started TB Enterprises of Wichita , which does business as the Butler, in 2000. The company does plumbing, water damage restoration, roofing and remodeling.
McCollough has been expanding to such places as Dallas, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Tulsa almost every year since. As of this month, the Butler is now in St. Louis, too.
"St. Louis can be huge," McCollough says.
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In other markets, the Butler's business focuses on water damage restoration and remodeling.
"It just seems like St. Louis floods every other year, if not every year," McCollough says.
Hurricane-prone areas are attractive, too.
"Ultimately, I would love to have offices along the coast for when hurricanes hit," McCollough says.
At the same time, he says, he doesn't want his own offices hit, so that's a factor in where he locates.
McCollough also has looked at Nashville.
He has about 35 employees in Wichita, though that number fluctuates depending on the work. And he has five to 10 employees in each of the other markets.
In addition to getting more work now, McCollough says the expansions will create "a very good option for somebody coming in and buying us down the road."
He's also talked with other companies about merging.
"There's a lot of different opportunities out there," McCollough says.
But for now he wants to concentrate on growing his company.
"Business is tough," McCollough says.
A lot of his business is from customers who collect insurance payments, and a lot of them have been opting to do work themselves or hire friends or relatives who might be less expensive.
"We don't fault them," McCollough says.
He sees a change in the trend coming.
"I think the economy's going to be turning around."
And McCollough thinks expanding in the markets where he already is might be his best option.
"Any of these markets can be huge."
The owner of El Mexico Cafe on Seneca is in a dispute with former partner William Villar Jr.
Brent Helm sought and received a temporary restraining order from Sedgwick County District Court that prevents Villar from competing against El Mexico with any Mexican restaurant other than his Mexico Cafe Delano .
Neither side is talking, but here's the situation:
Villar's parents, William and Mary , operated numerous versions of their popular Mexican restaurant around Wichita over the last 40 years. They closed El Mexico on Seneca in spring 2008.
Helm, his wife, Rhonda , and William Villar Jr. became partners and reopened the restaurant that summer.
Then Villar quit the partnership and signed a termination agreement in September. The petition says that the agreement states Villar won't have anything to do with another Mexican restaurant other than his one in Delano.
According to court documents, the legal issue partly involves comments Villar made to Have You Heard? in early October.
Villar discussed how his mother planned to open Mary's Mexico Cafe at the former Crossroads Bistro and Steakhouse at 1930 S. Oliver.
Villar says he's not involved with that restaurant, but Helm says that's not the case.
According to a petition for relief, Helm saw Villar hand out a menu for Mary's at a Sam's Club . And, among other things, he says the menu content and artwork for Mexico Cafe and Mary's is almost identical.
The petition also says Mary Villar knowingly participated in her son's breach of his agreement and is therefore liable as well. Helm also seeks a permanent injunction against Mary Villar from using "Mexico Cafe" in a restaurant name.
The temporary restraining order that the court approved only addresses William Villar, not his mother.
We'll keep you posted.
You don't say
"I guess I better dust off the cheerleading outfit."
—Shelley Hansel Williams , who has returned to her old job (which she left a year ago) as executive director of the Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB