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Meet Don Theriot of Craters & Freighters in Garland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Don Theriot.

Don, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Craters & Freighters is a national Franchise with over 67 locations around the country. The Dallas/Ft Worth location opened in 1992. In 2000 the original owners decided to sell the DFW location. My current partner, Choyet Terro, whom went to high school with one of the owners was asked if he would be interested in buying the business. After reviewing the business and working there a few months, he decided to take the offer. At the time, the business was growing and he would need help in running the business. So he asked me and another friend if we would be interested in going in as partners. The partnership would be split evenly amongst us 3. In May of 2000 we purchased the DFW location. The 1st year we came in to learn the business. The second year 9/11 happen but the 3rd year we started to see growth. We set our goals to diversify our business into different industries to offset the fluctuations in any industry. Our continued growth is due to many factors.

When we bought the business in 2000, there were 9 employees and today we fluctuate between 27 to 35. Our success can be contributed to many factors.

The DFW economy, great employees and 3 owners who have the same goals and philosophy on running a business. Another unique factor was our backgrounds. We are all from South Louisiana and attended the same college but never knew each other. We all meant on a bus trip to watch our school play Texas A&M at college station. Good food, good spirits and good company was the beginning of a long relationship. Choyet Terro’s background was in financing and running a business, Tony Alleman’s background was in operations and my back ground was in engineering and sales. Our backgrounds helped in allowing us to focus on each aspect of the business and nurture that part to a productive entity.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. The beginning was difficult. For the business to support 3 owners, the business needed to grow quickly. The 1st year was a learning process so we did not see any growth and with 9/11, the business suffered. Our existing clients were mostly people with disposable income. Once our clients froze their disposable spending our business fell about 10%. It took a couple more years to dig our way out but we would eventually prevail.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a specialty packaging, crating and shipping company. We provide customized services to all industries. From residential to industrial clients. Many years ago, we knew to grow our business we had to diversify. Diversity is our specialty. We cater to the client’s needs. Our clientele is so diverse, we have specific employees who specialize in certain industries.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up as a person who spent most of my days outside just like most kids in South Louisiana. Playing sports with all the kids in the neighborhood, catching crawfish, hunting, attending family parties and building forts in the woods. I have always been an adventurous type of person. Enjoying the physical challenges of the outdoors.

I always knew I had to attend college. I just never knew what I wanted to do. I attended USL in Lafayette Louisiana and graduated in 1987 with a BS in Industrial Technology.

Still not sure what to do next, my father did not recommend the oil field industry so I left Louisiana and started working in a bearing manufacturing plant. I enjoyed the manufacturing environment so decided this was going to be my path. In 1991, I moved to TX where I worked at General Dynamics as a CNC programmer. From there, I moved on to other jobs dealing with manufacturing but more on the engineering and sales side.

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