Bill’s Outdoor Supply won Best Lawn Equipment during the E-T's Best of Erath contest in June. The E-T sat down with owner Steve Thomas to discuss what his business specializes in and learn some fun facts.
1. Bill’s Outdoor Supply has been in business in Stephenville for 53 years.
2. It used to be called Bill’s Lawnmower Shop but the name changed to Bill’s Outdoor Supply about a year ago.
3. Although, there is no Bill now, Bill Chew was the original owner. After he passed away, his wife, Joyce, started running the store with the help of her sons. She was later diagnosed with leukemia so Thomas purchased the store from the Chew family when he worked at the fire department.
4. Thomas worked as a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Stephenville for over 20 years. After he bought Bill’s Outdoor Supply, he had trouble juggling both jobs.
"I wasn’t giving enough time there and I wasn’t having enough time here so I had to make a decision,” he said. “The city job is steadier, but it’s not what I wanted to do. This is what I wanted to do. This is what I enjoy doing.”
5. They repair and sell chainsaws, lawnmowers, 4-wheelers, ATVs, tractors, horse trailers, cattle trailers and utility trailers. They also sell feed, hay and hunting supplies.
6. The store also does pick-ups and deliveries for orders.
“We go all the way to Weatherford, Granbury, Eastland, Brownwood...I've got people who come from other states like Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado to buy 4-wheelers and UTVs and things of that nature, so we get people from all over the place,” Thomas said.
7. They are a family-oriented business and they have been since 1966 when the store used to be located where Ruby’s Texas Bistro is now.
8. In October, the shop will sell T-shirts for breast cancer awareness. The logo is brand new and features a cartoon character driving a lawnmower and running over the word “cancer.” The phrase on the shirt says, “Dr. Bill is Mowing Down Cancer.”
9. The radio station that Thomas advertises with, K-Hits on 95.3 out of Glen Rose, is putting on a show called “Dr. Bill” that airs every Friday morning at 7:45 a.m.
10. Thomas said he is planning on doing more videos, something he used to do in the past. He will use a selfie stick “because it’s more personal” and he will explain what his business is, what certain machines are and how they work.
11. They also have their own kitten called “Kitty” that they found by the dumpster and decided to claim as their own. Kitty runs around the shop and causes mischief.
12. In the future, Thomas hopes to incorporate an in-home service.
13. You can message Thomas any time on Bill’s Outdoor Supply’s Facebook Page or visit his website at billsoutdoorsupply.com where you can watch videos of Dr. Bill’s tips.
“If you want to just drink a cup of coffee and shoot the bull, that’s fine; that’s what we’re here for. I want to have all of the stuff that you can get at a big box store, but I want to have that hometown old feed store mentality of having one-on-one talks.
“We’re trying to keep growing and trying to make it a one-stop shop where you can get everything here,” he added.