Berry’s Discount Warehouse
1901 N. Treadaway
Berry’s Discount Warehouse is a family run new and used tire business. David and Kay Berry have operated their business for 14 years at the same location and their son Doug is also involved in the business. David Berry says, “ We have tried to base all of our company operations on a modern interpretation of the ‘Golden Rule’.” The company admits that every business has problems. “How you solve them is important, because that is how people remember you.”
In the company's statement to the Torch Award Judges they said this about their ethical relationship with their customers, "We always tell the whole story, up front in pricing our goods and services.” They want the customer to know the complete, drive-away price so they’ll know what the final cost will be.” David Berry likes to say, “We tell our customers repeatedly that we may surprise them at the front of a sale, but NEVER at the end.”
The company quickly says that the thing that has been responsible for us getting to where we are has been our employees. Quoting the company’s entry “If it hadn’t been for the loyalty and hard work of these men and women, we would have no customers. We’ve never asked our employees to do anything that we do not do ourselves.” The company even recently developed an employee Code of Conduct, part of which says.., “treat everyone in the shop with courtesy and respect. Customers are as important as coworkers: if there were no customers, there’d be no reason for us to be here. It is our responsibility to do things honestly, to help our customers get what they need at a price they can afford, to help our customers to trust us.”
The Pender Company
442 Cedar Street
The Pender Company has been a fixture on the Abilene Community landscape for 78 years. The current Chairman, Hal Pender, grew up in the company. It was founded by his father H.A. Pender in 1922. In the letter to the judging panel Mr. Pender recalls, “In 1946 I began working full time in sales. My earliest memory of advice from my Dad was, ‘Make friends and business will take care of itself’, along with ‘always treat others like you want to be treated.’ This Golden Rule has been the guideline from all interactions with customers, vendors, representatives and employees. I do not know of any situation where a customer complaint has not been satisfied.” The Pender Company is a founding member of the Better Business Bureau joining February 3, 1969. In 31 years of membership there are zero customer complaints in the company’s file.
The Pender Company’s Golden Rule extends to their employees. Most have had long tenures with the company. In the summary and philosophy of the Pender Company, Mr. Pender says, “I do not try to run anyone’s life but try, by example and leadership, to promote Christianity.” His employees think highly of their boss. They nominated him for the Small Business Person of the Year Award which he won in 1999.
The company’s community service is well known, United Way, Meals on Wheels, Junior Achievement, the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboy Band Foundation to name but a few. Hal Pender has been instrumental in several building projects. He was the General Campaign Chairman for raising $4,000,0000 for the Red Bud YMCA, and help raise the money for the Home of the Cowboy Band, right here on the Hardin-Simmons University campus. The University honored him with their Keeter Award. As always, Mr. Pender is modest about his business and civic achievements. He writes, “ You cannot imagine how hard it is to write about one’s self and the small contribution our company has made to this community.”