Sapp Bros: Inside Look of a Truck Stop Built on Faith

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Jared Flinn [00:00:18]: You're listening to the bulk load podcast, your number one resource for everything bold freight trucking. Jared Flinn [00:00:28]: Hey, guys. Welcome to the Bulk Loads podcast. Allison here with me. What's going on? Let's do a truck feature. Alright. Let's go. This week, we're gonna do a Rick Strait with flat top Trucking, and they are up out of Michigan. And, man, we haven't done a pneumatic before. Tyler Allison [00:00:46]: Yeah. I was looking at their picture. They, That picture, that rig is clean. They got they had the pneumatical, shined up and polished, and it looks really good. Jared Flinn [00:00:55]: Yeah. I love that color too. Like, I don't know if that's, I like to Tyler Allison [00:00:59]: think about your truck. Yeah. Like a, almost like a gunmetal gray. Jared Flinn [00:01:02]: Yeah. Gunmetal gray with that red stripe. But yeah. So, man, awesome truck, Rick. And, yeah, support your or appreciate your membership on Bo Close. Been on for now. Tyler Allison [00:01:13]: Yeah. Since 2012. Yep. Jared Flinn [00:01:15]: Yeah. I've been on years. So Awesome. Well, today's podcast, I'm gonna bring on Andy Richard. He is the CEO of Sab Brothers. We actually have a mutual friend, Andy Holtz, with HD Commodities and who connected us. And, I tell you what, we hit I mean, we we hit it off from the start. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:01:35]: So, I don't wanna give too away too much of the podcast. We'll talk about it afterwards. But, man, this is a faith Build podcast, and, Andy is the 3rd generation, at at Sat Brothers. And, Man, just really enjoyed, his heartfelt story about it. We know a lot of our customers shop at Sat Brothers, Especially kinda where they're located. They have 17, travel centers. And, man, just, it's a it's a really cool outfit. And, I don't wanna give it away. Jared Flinn [00:02:08]: I don't wanna rehash, but you got, like, like, what pioneered me to reach out to him was an encounter that I had at Yeah. ASAP brothers One late night or I should say early early morning. Tyler Allison [00:02:20]: Yeah. Jared, I'll say I always, I always stop there at the Harrisonville, Missouri Location, I'm originally from Kansas City. So whenever I travel up there to see, some family, I always my wife always make Sure that we stop at that one, because of their clean bathrooms and such, but we've always had just such positive interactions there. They just got amazing business model. Jared Flinn [00:02:44]: Well, we know that majority of our truckers well, I mean, all of them. I mean, they have to go to most of them fuel up at double stops. So, I mean, there's a huge percentage of their time that are are are that are at spin at rest stops. And, we think that, again, Sad Brothers, They are doing it right, by welcoming them and, really making it, yeah, just making it a welcome feeling, I guess, I should say. So awesome. I know I Like, there's a their sign Yeah. At the top. I I guess for the longest Tyler Allison [00:03:20]: time kinda going your route with the oil. Jared Flinn [00:03:22]: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Tyler Allison [00:03:23]: I was kinda going your route. Jared Flinn [00:03:24]: Yeah. So I I thought, anyways, I thought I was like, man, how did I not know that? But I'm glad I'm not the Tyler Allison [00:03:29]: only one. Jared Flinn [00:03:30]: So cool. Well, with that said, here is my conversation With Andy Richard of Set Brothers. Andy, thanks for coming on. Andrew Richard [00:03:38]: Thanks for having me. Jared Flinn [00:03:39]: Really appreciate it. Well, we We have, some mutual friends, Andy Holtz with HD Commodities, who, I met a couple years ago. But, dear friend of yours? Andrew Richard [00:03:50]: Yes. Yes. Very dear friend of mine. Jared Flinn [00:03:53]: Awesome. Well, he's the one that got us in in, connected together. You are The current CEO of Sat Brothers, and, man, we are or I should say, I am a huge fan of Sat Brothers. I've told you this story, but I'm gonna I'm gonna Say it again just to kinda set the stage, but it was over a year ago, we were on a ski trip. My family, we left At 8 o'clock at night, I'll never do this again. It's like, from here on out, I'm driving during the day. But we love from here, Springfield, Missouri out towards Colorado, and I remember it was, like, 1 AM in the morning. I'm trying to do everything I can to stay awake. Jared Flinn [00:04:34]: We needed fuel, We pulled into the Sapp Brothers right there. Is it at Junction City, I believe. Right? Andrew Richard [00:04:40]: Yep. Junction City, Kansas. Yep. Jared Flinn [00:04:42]: Yep. Junction City, Kansas Pass, Fort Riley. And We pull in there, and I'm I'm half asleep. I go back to, you know, use the restroom. I'm sitting there, and I look up and, you know, there's, you know, using the restroom, there's the advertisements. And I'm always looking to see kind of what, you know, what are they selling, CV products or lubricants or whatever, and I noticed Scripture written on there, and I wish I would've taken a picture. Andrew Richard [00:05:06]: I know Jared Flinn [00:05:07]: I can't remember what scripture was, but I was like, oh, that's really cool that they got, you know, scripture on there. Yeah. Anyways, I go I get back out. I I grab some sunflower seeds. I grab a Monster Energy drink, I think a pack of gum. And, actually, I put it all on the counter, and there's actually some 5 hour energies. I grabbed one of those because I'm like, whatever. I'm not gonna you know? I got precious cargo that I'm hauling across Kansas. Jared Flinn [00:05:32]: Yep. And I I put it on the counter, and, yeah, the gentleman was just so, He was so polite, but he was like, man, it looks like you got a long haul ahead Andrew Richard [00:05:39]: of you. And I was like, yeah. Jared Flinn [00:05:40]: I do. He's like, well, where are you going? But, yeah, struck up a good conversation. But it It stood out to me that, man, these people number 1, I you know, the scripture, but just even a conversation with the attendant that, man, these people actually care for their customers, which, man, in today's society, you and I both know, you don't see that everywhere you go. And sometimes it's a little bit of a, maybe kind of a lost trade or loss you know, a lot of businesses kinda lost that touch. We at Bulk Loads try to do everything we can to give that Since, that customer service and empathy and servanthood towards our clients. But I just I wanna first off, yeah, Thank you for, man, the seeds that were planted, you know, years ago, for the service that you guys do today. Andrew Richard [00:06:26]: Sure. Yeah. That Yep. I'm imagining what you read is we have a quarterly kind of, publication that we post. It's called the coffee break reader. And most of its ads. I mean, it's our vendors displaying, hey. This is our 2 for 1, or this is what we're this is our special. Andrew Richard [00:06:43]: But I always get to put a message On the front of that, and then usually in front of the urinals, they'll have kind of the cover, and they cut every sheet, and they show in front of each thing. And Yep. And I try to, take a little extra time and and write those, and I usually do add scripture, but I don't, a lot of times what I'll do is I won't even overtly put the The actual scripture itself in there, I'll talk about a message about we we we, Typically, blessing in serving and the and the fact that our customers are a blessing to us, and thank you, and and a positive message. Like, hey. What What would it look like if this this month or this season, you kinda thought about the world like this? And then a lot of times, I'll sign my name, and just put a, Kind of a corresponding piece of scripture there. Jared Flinn [00:07:29]: Yep. And Andrew Richard [00:07:29]: and my hope and prayer is that is that those folks will will actually, like, pick, oh, what is Ephesians, you know, 2 versus, you know, whatever the whatever the scripture may be, and they go look at it and then, like, wow, that's that's kinda rich or else let me let me read the rest of that chapter. So that's typically what we do. There's there's sometimes where we'll actually throw the scripture on there too. But a lot of times, what I'll do is it it'll be very related to what whatever the message that the Coffee breed reader has. But, again, I think you you hit the point is that, you know, I was blessed to come into an organization. It was But it started by my grandfather and his 3 older brothers. My grandfather's name was Bill. He was the youngest of the 4 Satt brothers, but but they always They always thought about business as as a way to bless and serve others, and and they thought of it as a way because that They believe they believe, and not what I believe is that this is what God asked us to do with our time, talents, and resources, and businesses, and all of those things. Andrew Richard [00:08:31]: You that sounds very pie in the sky. No. I had it all. And probably be a little bit hallmar key, but the reality of it is, you know, You have to make money in a business. You have to treat you have to, you know, you have to do a lot of different things to stay afloat. But I but but I think you can do all of that in Context of saying, why do we exist? What's our ethos? And and with your employees, the way you treat them, You can bless and serve your employees if you do employment the right way. You can bless and serve your customers if you're excellent at what you do. You provide great customer service, And you can you can bless and serve the communities you're in via helping support them philanthropically. Andrew Richard [00:09:10]: Also, just also just being an awesome employer, and an awesome place to stop, In a positive place to stop. So we really start there. We say, why do we exist? We exist to lessen serve. And then And it would take too long to kind of then we try to get more granular for our folks. And and another thing too, just to point out is that even if you're a customer of SAP Brothers or employee SAP Brothers, And you don't believe in God, which is okay, we we really feel confident that you could still get behind the message of blessing and serving your fellow human being. So your egos doesn't have to be that that it starts with God. Ours is. Ours happens to be that it is. Andrew Richard [00:09:46]: But but we want everyone, I guess, to get on the bandwagon of blessing and serving other people through through the conduit of SAP brothers. And and and again, you do not have to believe at the start of what we believe. We just want you to if you're a teammate at SAP brothers, you at least gotta be on the mission of blessing and serving other people. Jared Flinn [00:10:06]: Yeah. I love that. You start talking about your grandfather being one of the 3 brothers that started. Can you kind of expand on that, just the the history of Sad Brothers, kind of how they started, and maybe in how you have morphed to The organization you are today, more than just a fuel stop. Andrew Richard [00:10:24]: Sure. Sure. There there so there actually was 4 brothers. They're right in a row, bing, bing, bing, but they were the 4 youngest siblings. They actually had 3 older sisters, depression babies. I believe my grandfather Born in 1932. And so all of these brothers, they grew up. Their dad was a sharecropper. Andrew Richard [00:10:46]: Their dad and mom really struggled, I don't think. One of those stories that my grandpa always talks about, and actually, 1 my grandpa and one of his brothers wrote a book, and It's interesting, just kinda their disagreements they had with their dad, the way their dad farmed versus what the kind of the modern farm that they thought Things looked up. But either way, when they were children, they really struggled. They kinda went from farm to farm, and and and had pretty Pretty humble beginnings. All of them joined a different branch of the military, starting with the oldest, which his name was Ray. I think Ray may have been in the army, and one of them was in the marines and and air force, and then my my grandfather my grandfather was in the army. So they all were in different branches, Which is kinda neat. 4 brothers, 4 branches, they all were in a different branch. Andrew Richard [00:11:33]: Got done with that, and my grandfather Wanted to be a school teacher, so through the GI Bill, started to get his education. And so he he that's where he met my grandmother, Was, was in small town Nebraska as a school teacher, and hit one of the brothers said, hey, we should we should get into business with each This is after they've all, you know, started adulthood and started their Started their country. Yep. And so he said, hey, I think there's this, There's this car dealership. There's this Ford dealership in Ashland, Nebraska that's for sale. If we can each come up with $10,000, I think we could buy it. And so they all basically went to their in laws and their friends, and They all beg, borrowed, and steal, and and came up with their 4th, which I think was $10,000 a piece to buy this. And this is back in the day before, you know, you're emailing back and forth with Ford, like, are you you give us your blessings or not. Andrew Richard [00:12:31]: Well, he knew they they they they do the acquisition locally, Send the paperwork into Ford and Ford's like, no way. No. There's these 4 guys scratch together money, like, no. We're not gonna have but, You know, as the lag of paperwork and and mail would happen, whatever there is sold, like, pretty pretty good chunk of cars. I don't know the numbers or whatever, but They basically then said, well, we'll give them a, you know, we'll give them a 120 days or something because they had moved some vehicles. And a 120 days came, and they had moved enough vehicles to suffice. And over time, 4 got very comfortable with the idea of of the Sapp Brothers. And from that was that had to be I think that was 1961. Andrew Richard [00:13:18]: And then from there, they started buying other car dealerships, And they got into truck dealerships, they all were, you know, kinda farm boys at heart, really loved the trucking industry, 2 of the brothers always We're in the truck leasing business. They they really they like the big trucks more than they like the cars. And so they got into GMC truck dealerships. Long and the short is, the the 1st Sapp Brothers truck stop was actually supposed to be a GMC truck dealership. They, again, went through all the paperwork, Bought 50 plus acres, kinda right outside where today, our coffee pot stands, our 1st location stands with the idea that A good chunk of that was actually gonna be a GMC truck dealership, and again, as as as the leg of information and paperwork and It it came to find out that GMC had already kinda sold the trade area, they we were in Sarpy County, and and GMC was under the impression that it was gonna be under Douglas County this whole time. And for whatever reason, there was no budging on on one side or the other. And one of the brothers said, well, You know, interstate eighty is relatively new. It's still gonna get cut all the way across the state of Nebraska. Andrew Richard [00:14:28]: You know, why don't we look into doing a a truck stop? And so by the time that all rolled out, I think this was the late sixties when all this toil happened. 1971 is when The 1st Sapp Brothers truck stop was opened in Omaha, Nebraska. So Jared Flinn [00:14:45]: Talk about Andrew Richard [00:14:46]: when that started. Jared Flinn [00:14:47]: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. You you mentioned the coffee pot, and, like, you're gonna laugh at me. Like, I've seen that the the coffee pot, you know, the tower, I mean, hundreds of times, you know, passed by. For some I thought it was an oil can, Andrew Richard [00:15:01]: and and then yes. Jared Flinn [00:15:02]: I mean, I'm sure everybody else knows it's a coffee pot. I I thought it was for some reason, I always thought it was like an oil can or some kind of gas can, but talk about the symbolic meaning behind the coffee pot. Andrew Richard [00:15:12]: Sure. I I'll give you a quick story too on that. My grandfather was, kind of, the brother that was chosen to run, What we would now call SAP Brothers, the business that I work for and whatever. All of they're very industrious. All of them were. All of them were great businessmen, Different strengths and talents that God had given them. But the but the but they from the very beginning, kinda said, hey, Bill, you're gonna run this This business, and as they were setting things up, and I don't know if if in in his but I know I actually was. They must have already had figured out that it was was not gonna be a GMC truck dealership. Andrew Richard [00:15:47]: It was going to be a a truck stop. And he was actually driving in downtown Omaha, and at the time, that's where a massive stockyards was. They They rival Kansas City stockyards. I mean, they're big big big stockyards. And I think it was the Armour Meat Company had this massive water tower on top of their building. And at that time, the the the that building was for sale. My grandpa looked up, and and and he says he heard this audible voice that said, you need that, You need that water tower. And so he called the he called you know, he must have wrote down the numbers for sale sign, went back to his office, called the number, and And, the guy's like, he's like, I'm imagining your building, I'm interested in water tower. Andrew Richard [00:16:30]: The guy's like, well, I'm a real estate broker. I have no idea how you how you get that down or what. Anyways, he found someone that could work on water towers, and he got that water tower, and they actually needed it. I mean, to this day, That is an active water tower, but he bought that water tower, and brought it to where it currently is today, which is way West Omaha. And then he was thinking about it and he said, what what is a way that I could signal to professional, you know, drivers, that you're welcome here, and you're welcome here 24 hours, 7 days a week, 3.65. And, you know, I think I think back then, and I still even think to this day, like, a cup of coffee, a cup of warm coffee, like, Welcoming someone in. So he actually had this company well then the the handle and the the spout, and even kind of the percolator up top. He welded all those things on, and we so you I mean, now we have fancy LED lights on it all, and it's it's kinda morphed throughout the years. Andrew Richard [00:17:28]: But I think he shined a light on it and basically it was kinda like, hey, you're welcome. I mean, our slogan is welcome, be our guest. And and really, I think the coffee pot signifies, like, hey. Welcome. Come here. Like, we'll we'll serve you a cup of coffee, and and you're welcome here. So that's what that's how it all started. Jared Flinn [00:17:45]: Yeah. Talk about I I I love this aspect of of really welcoming people and drivers. I mean, that's that's part of of servanthood and Hey, guys. We know one of the hardest things in trucking is trying to figure out your cost and rates, And that's why we are excited to give you a rate calculator. Scott Meerden, Inc, one of our members, actually put this together. We have refined it a little bit, And we have it available for you free of charge to use. Contact us at [email protected], And we will give you that rate calculator free of charge. It's a simple link you can open up, and you can put all your calculations in there. Jared Flinn [00:18:24]: You can, put the amount of trucks you have, Your insurance, every cost, and it breaks down your cost and rates, and it gives you pinpoint accuracy on what you need to charge out there in the industry. So, again, Send an email to podcast at, and we will drop you a link to the rate calculator totally free of charge. Thank you, and god bless. You know, I'm not gonna use, but, like, there's other just fuel stops you go to and you don't get that feeling, though. How do you incorporate that Into the culture, like, where it it's from top all the way down to the frontline workers. I mean, it's interwoven in the in the culture because, again, you can tell that there's a clear difference in companies like you're that do that versus ones that don't that don't have that approach or that That core element of of servanthood. Andrew Richard [00:19:16]: Sure. You know, again, I think I think it has to think it probably has to start with the top. I mean, again, I was blessed. You know, I worked for SAP Brothers for 15 years, In in different capacities, in different parts of our businesses. But like from day 1 of my employment, I always understood that. And so I think that was always pretty well communicated. I think, you know, to to be fair to some of our industry brother and On our truck stop side too. I mean, you know, we have 17 travel centers. Andrew Richard [00:19:49]: We're actually building our our eighteenth right now. But so so, you know, I I know every general manager of every travel center, by name, And we get a meet once a year face to face eyeball. We always we'll bring them all in the 1 room. And I mean, we always go back to the basics. Why why do we exist? We exist to bless How are we gonna do that? And then again, we get a lot more pragmatic about that, but we, you know, we we we kinda the next level on that is we say, we've gotta be the safest Trucking, truck stops, and then actually our other side of our business, which is delivering fuel. We have, you know, trucks that deliver to farms and all sorts of places. They're they're it's a dangerous business. Right? So Yeah. Andrew Richard [00:20:31]: First and foremost, we gotta be the safest at what we do. This It also applies to our to our truck stops and to our wholesale fuel business. We don't have the we don't make the iPhone. We don't have the secret KFC recipe. We didn't we don't have the Coca Cola recipe lockup in a vault anywhere. We literally buy for a and sell for b. And so we better be pretty darn efficient at what we do. When we move goods and services and even people and expend energy, We better do it efficiently, and we better be adding value to our customer via via good price, but but 5 star customer service. Andrew Richard [00:21:09]: So we have to be the safest, we have to be the most efficient, and we have to have the best customer service. And that's kinda like the second He's a blessing and serving people, and then we even get a little bit more granular about, like, literally, how do we functionally do that at SAP Brothers? And then be and because we have those conversations, I think I think that's why it happens. Right? And I and I'm sure people listen to this podcast might Have gone in there and had a bad experience. I mean, we are human beings that that need forgiveness, and and have bad days, and do all those things. But hopefully, more times than not, That you'll see that as you come in. You're gonna be welcomed as our guest, and we're gonna do whatever we can do to make sure we're blessed and serving you as our customer. Jared Flinn [00:21:52]: Yeah. I was gonna mention this, and I I can see the, you have the sign up there, but, I always see it when I mean, Going Kansas City right at the Harrisonville one, but, you know, mom mom approved bathrooms. And Andrew Richard [00:22:03]: Yep. Jared Flinn [00:22:04]: I mean, that's huge. I mean, from, You know, my wife who we we have 3 kids. I mean, has that an was that an issue? Has that always been around, or was that something new that that They got pioneer over the last 10 years. Andrew Richard [00:22:17]: How did that You're gonna you're gonna I've got a story for everything, so I apologize. You can. Jared Flinn [00:22:23]: No. This is good. Andrew Richard [00:22:24]: If it gets too long, you can just just turn it off. But, yeah. No. That I know that was that preceded me In terms of that slogan, that message, that thought process, my grandfather Bill, and there was a gentleman at the time that was the president of our travel centers, his name was Don When, and they were, like, what would signify, like, this is a safe, awesome place to, like, bring anyone, like, that would, Like, what, you know, everyone says cleanest restrooms. Every billboard has clean restrooms, cleanest restrooms. But really at the end of the day, like, if you all think back to your childhood or whatever, it's like, It was good when when mom said it was good. Right? And mom but at least when I was on a road trip, like, mom was, like, we're gonna stop here because I feel safe, I know this place, the Kids can go to the bathroom. So they they really started this concept, and and so probably, I don't know. Andrew Richard [00:23:17]: 10 or 10 years ago, Don and Bill wanted to do this wanna do this, billboard, which is what you see today, it's the same billboard pretty much everywhere. It's this gal holding 2 thumbs up, and so they They said, let's let's really hit this. We're gonna buy a lot of billboards in and around kind of our travel center network, and we're gonna do this. And so, you know, they bought the Stock image of this of this really pretty gal with 2 thumbs up, and and they went to the billboard company and said, here's what we want. And the billboard company said, well, that's great. Do you have the in endorsement rights for that image? And they said, well, we don't know what that is even, But we paid $15 for this image. They're like, you don't have the endorsement rights for that. That there's you know? So they're like, well, we need these billboards up. Andrew Richard [00:24:02]: And And so my grandfather is actually that gal on that billboard that you see, and that's behind me right there. That's actually a a picture of my wife. Jared Flinn [00:24:09]: Oh, wow. I Andrew Richard [00:24:10]: was actually gonna guess. I was Jared Flinn [00:24:11]: looking at The other family photo behind you, but I was, like, Andrew Richard [00:24:13]: is it the same person? Yeah. I don't know. That's the kind of one you always see. Oh, to camera there but, Jared Flinn [00:24:22]: so cool. Andrew Richard [00:24:23]: So he's like, hey, he came into our office, he's like, hey, what would Julie think about being on billboards for the mom of progress rooms? I was, like, well, I'm not sure if endorsing travel center restrooms her dream as a child. I can I can I can always ask her, and she great? He said, we'll buy her a blouse. That's sounds like a fair deal. Well, let me let me see if I can get my salesman shoes on and and so we and that's ultimately what we did. We we bought her a black blouse and Went to a photo shoot, and she took a bunch of photos with her with her thumbs up, and it's been a pretty successful, campaign and messaging to people like, hey, this is a This is a safe place. One one of the things that Sapp Brothers does, I think, is a little different than our industry brother, and is we don't sell alcohol, don't sell pornography. We really We really do want a mom, a family, a professional driver to know, like, hey, like, we want we want this to be a really A safe, good place for you to stop. And so, I think that kind of all that message, the mom approved message, Kinda ties in with the welcome, be our guest message, and just a safe positive experience for the professional driver. Jared Flinn [00:25:36]: Yeah. I think that's awesome. I you know, my wife I I just remember, over the years, always trying to find you know, it was always like buying a McDonald's. We always know those are clean. You know? So, I mean, Yeah. Especially mothers are looking for those restrooms. Yeah. And Andrew Richard [00:25:49]: I mean, everyone has a mom. Right? And ever so, it's kinda like, I just you know, I mean, I'm sure there's there are folks that that don't have great relationships with their moms or fond memories, but but I think most remember this kind of that comfort. And if mom Would tell you, hey, this is a safe, good place to go, then then you would listen to her, and it would and it would be. And so, I think they, they were they were geniuses in in coming up with that, and and thinking through that, and really, to this day, we we've really used it and been successful with it. Jared Flinn [00:26:19]: Yeah. That's awesome. Andy, I wanna turn a little bit and talk more about you because you have a interesting story yourself. Like, you actually, You know, moved away. You're not, you didn't really grope in Omaha, if I remember the story right. Your dad was at the Chicago Board of Trade, but Kinda talk about that because, I mean, it was years later where you kinda came back into the family business, but kinda break that down for us. Andrew Richard [00:26:45]: Sure. Yeah. That that's kind of a crazy story, you know. Yeah. My mom and dad were high school sweethearts. Grew up in a little small town in Nebraska, and my dad had a dream of, you know, being a trader at Chicago Board of Trade, which he realized and and had a career there. And so my little nuclear family, I'm scrunched in between 2 girls. I got an older and younger sister, grew up in a town called Naperville, Illinois, which is a which is a western suburb of Chicago. Andrew Richard [00:27:15]: That's where I met my my bride, as a as a 15 year old, we started dating. And then I went to the University of Nebraska. I was very, very, very close with my with my grandfather, Bill Sapp, And and actually both grandfathers. They both lived in Ashland, Nebraska, for their whole entire lives. Adult lives, I should say. And, so we would go back to Ashland, like, if not I mean, not quarterly. I mean, like, monthly. I mean, we were Feel like I lived on interstate 80, driving back and forth. Andrew Richard [00:27:50]: Just just seeing cousins and aunts and uncles and holidays and My my my parents were always trying to get us back to to Nebraska, be with our family, and, went to the University of Nebraska, But ultimately, my wife went to the University of Indiana. We got married, and we moved back to Chicago. And it's a long story, but be but essentially in 2009, just made the decision to come back to Sapp Brothers, Which previously I had never even fathomed doing. I did not I didn't grow up in the business. And so it was such a blessing. Number 1, just to be able to work with my grandfather, for him to really show me, The things that we're talking about, that we are here to bless and serve people, and kind of that intersection of faith and business, and and how that can work, and How you really can bless and serve people through the conduit of your work. So that was a blessing, just being close with him. And then the old time, I think learning what SAP Brothers does, you know, I love on the on our truck stop side, serving the professional driver. Andrew Richard [00:28:56]: They're what makes our lives Possible. Everything you see behind me, in front of me, I can touch. All got here by a truck. My hardworking men and women that that do it 7 days a week and and do an awesome job. And so I I love that that ability to bless and serve them if we do our job right. And then on our on our wholesale side of our business, it's really cool. We get to deliver fuel and propane and lubricants to all sorts of businesses. From many of my uncles who are our customers, who are farmers in Nebraska, you know, all the way up to big municipalities and You name it. Andrew Richard [00:29:32]: Big trucking companies, and, big utilities, and all those things. We get to do the same thing. And and a lot of those businesses, I mean, Their biggest cost behind most times labor is the fuel that they burn. So they they wanna talk to us, and And we're able to add significant value if we're doing our jobs right. And so, I've I've fell in love with the with the business. I think it came in December of 2009, And really have been blessed to work for Sapp Brothers, for this amount of time and and love what we do. Jared Flinn [00:30:05]: Your grandfather, Richard, you keep talking about, was was he still around? Is he still around today, or was he around when you took the role of CEO? Andrew Richard [00:30:13]: My grandpa Richard or my grandpa Sapp? Jared Flinn [00:30:15]: Sorry. Your grandpa Richard. Andrew Richard [00:30:17]: My grandpa Richard. Okay. No. He had passed away when I was when I was, Just out of college. My grandpa Sapp was though, so Bill was still actively working. And towards the end, I think when I became CEO, I I he was struggling with some dementia, but, yeah, he was alive when when when I when I was named the CEO, and I think even kinda before he Had dementia. It was kind of he knew that was in the plans, and that was we were all kind of working to that point. But for the 1st 5 or 6 years, you know, I was the 1st 2 or 3 years here as a Zap Brothers. Andrew Richard [00:30:56]: I was on a route truck, and, as I was driving a driving a truck and filling lubricants for All of our all of our, kinda, customers in in Southeast Nebraska, Southwest Iowa, North Northwest Missouri, any of those folks that needed bulk lubricants, so I'd call them and see what they needed. I I mean, I was I was, well, what I what we call a route salesman. We don't have route salesman anymore, but I mean, I was a guy that, 2 days a week was in the office, trying to drive sales in that part of the country. And then I would hop in a truck at 3:30 in the morning and Go on out to these businesses, and and I would pump drums of oil or totes of oil into their into their bulk tanks. And, it was It was a blessing. It was it was honestly some of the funnest years I ever had. Just meeting folks out there that are, Everyday, just working hard, and doing doing awesome things, and, I learned a ton, and met a ton of just amazing awesome people, that I'll never forget. And that's really kinda what started my love for Sapp Brothers is is just understanding what we do, and kinda where we are, where we're at. Andrew Richard [00:32:01]: Transportation energy is such a fascinating thing, and it's such a blessing that I think, is getting demonized in our society. But really so necessary and and such an awesome thing and allows us to allows you to hop in a car at at 8 PM, on a family trip and Yep. When your kiddos are are waking up, you can drive through McDonald's and get them some some breakfast sandwiches. And by noon, you're you could be skiing. And I think we we we take that for granted. And it really is it's really kind of a cool a cool business to be in, and I feel blessed to be in it. Jared Flinn [00:32:38]: Yeah. Talk a little bit about you'd said early on that you guys are getting ready to, you're building your 18th Service center. If you can kinda give us just a snapshot, you know, being at the helm of the company, what does the the future look like, I mean, as far as growth opportunities with SAP, you'd you'd mentioned before because I mean, I I consider you guys Huge, but I know that there are other fuel stops out there with many more chains, branches, and all that, which in if if you can if If you wanna share but, I mean, you guys you you guys sold a lot of gallons, you know, oh, you know, in 1 year. But talk a little bit about that Kinda where you are today, but even what that future looks like. I mean, you're sitting there where where future plans are to grow, you know, in the Midwest or in other areas. Andrew Richard [00:33:27]: Sure. You know, the the way that and again, we kinda always think about this. What what really leads our decision is is definitely the professional Driver in commercial diesel fuel. We think that's got a very, very, very bright future. Again, high flow commercial diesel fuel is How goods and services are moved, and and we think it's gonna be that way for a long, long time. There there there'll be other alternative energies, but But really, we think, diesel fuel will be there for a long, long time. Even if there is a alternative energy that works, like, it's still gonna need some type of concept like a like a Travel center that's gonna be able to to to refuel, the the the national fleet, I guess, if if you will. And so that kind of starts our process, you know, I guess. Andrew Richard [00:34:16]: You know, a lot of times what you'll do when you go to fleets, lot with larger fleets, As you kinda say, hey, what lanes do you run? And they're gonna tell you what east west lanes and north south lanes. They're gonna say, hey, I run interstate 80, or I run interstate 70, or I run 40, or I run 10. Then I kinda box up, and I'll go up by 29, or I'll go up by 49, or, you know, and so You kinda wanna make a network where where you're kind of in the same lanes, where you kinda build something where it's add value to kinda your core customer base. And so that's what my grandfather did, you know. It's fur the first one was in Omaha, second one was in Council Bluffs, which is not far at all. I mean, I'm talking 35 miles not it, maybe not That's the river. 5 miles. Yeah. Andrew Richard [00:35:02]: So typically, you you would want to space them out. I don't know if that That time his growth, you know, algorithm was like, okay, let's space these out a little bit further. But but now we would. We wouldn't necessarily, I think, stick 2 travel centers that close. But I mean, that's kind of the thing is you wanna kinda think about the lanes that you're currently in, where you're adding value to your customers. You wanna go out and talk to your customers, and say, hey, like, what markets would would would make a lot of sense for you guys? Where you guys at As an extension of where we're currently at, and and so you have those conversations. But then, I guess, to even step above that, when we think about Growth on our travel center side. What we don't wanna do, and we've seen a lot of our industry brother do this, is they say, like, oh, We I we call them artificial north stars. Andrew Richard [00:35:53]: So we'll say, we wanna grow by 2 stores a year. And we think that's a that's a really bad trap, for people to get into because your your North Star now becomes 2 stores a year, and what if one of those is is an okay deal, but it's not. But but again, you think about, like, culture and initiative, and Yeah. Top to bottom, like, everyone's, like, yeah, but we need we said 2 a year, Over 2 years. So we've never really had that artificial nor store nor nor, God willing, when when I'm here, do do we want to have that? We wanna We always wanna think about things pragmatically. We're we're a pretty humble privately held company, so we gotta make sure we have the right balance sheet In order to grow, and then it's gotta be the right opportunity. We gotta find the right market, and find the right piece of real estate, and so, you know, We don't have a real estate department. The real estate department is me and a couple other guys in our company. Andrew Richard [00:36:47]: We, prayerfully, You know, thoughtfully kind of think through what would what would what would be next for us. And and the last one we built was in 2015 South of Kansas City in Harrisonville, and And this next one will be, just north of of Saint George, Utah on Interstate 15. It's actually in a town called Tocqueville, exit 27 on I15, but, but kind of the Saint George, Utah market, if you could think of Jared Flinn [00:37:13]: Which is growing rapidly. I was just out there this summer. It's Yeah. I mean, Saint George, Utah is growing leaps and bounds. Andrew Richard [00:37:19]: Really, really, really. I just FYI for anyone that that this is just, this is aside from SAP of this travel, so to those stop by if you go there, is That that's like one of the most beautiful places that I've been to in our in our country. Yep. They have Zion National Park and Bryce Jared Flinn [00:37:36]: That's where we went. Yep. Andrew Richard [00:37:37]: For a good Midwest boy that that gets to see a lot of open skies, which by the way, I think is absolutely beautiful, and I I feel blessed to live here. It is it takes your breath away. How cool the designer got is, because it's it's pretty special place in the country. You should you should definitely put it on your bucket if you if you don't have it on there. Jared Flinn [00:37:57]: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. We're gonna kinda Laying the plane here and talk about, you know, you're talking about kind of future growth and the future of the business. And do you see you know, I look up in your family photo, and I can see a couple, I think, couple boys in there. I mean oh, and girls. Yeah. Andrew Richard [00:38:20]: I mean, Jared Flinn [00:38:20]: do you see the next CEO, you know, down the road, is that a vision that you have or thoughts that you have, you know, keeping it in the family business? Andrew Richard [00:38:29]: You know, I don't so what's another cool thing that that's happens at Sapp Brothers, which is different than a lot of, You know, kinda closely held family businesses is, you know, all of our travel center managers, all of our wholesale fuel managers, as well as what we call them, Our support, you know, very very key critical employees that are helping support the the entire business all. If they're at that level, and they and they and they can be voted on to then have an opportunity to buy shares in SAP brothers, And the shareholders, while their employees here. And it's the same share that, like, my grandma, Lucille Sap, who's still alive. They own the same share with the same redemption agreement as as they have while they're while they're employees. And, So there's quite a few, shareholders of Sapp Brothers that aren't necessarily like Sapp family. I would I would love it to work alongside my sons or daughters, if that's if that's what they wanna do. But I definitely don't want them to think that That's what they have to do or ought to do. My my, you know, my prayer would be that it happens preorganically like it happened with me. Andrew Richard [00:39:45]: Ditching, you know, my grandfather, again, who was his brother still have equity in Sapp Brothers, but really, It was kinda his his family that ran the business, like, there really wasn't a 2nd generation. There was a couple family members that did that did some Important jobs at Safford, but there really wasn't a 2nd generation per se. Mhmm. So that he would, exceptions to that. But Yeah. So literally, when I when I came in in 2009, I mean, I was really one of the only family members that that worked for SAP Brothers, which is kinda unique. Know, a lot of the other, businesses that I get to talk to that are like Saff Brothers, I mean, it's 3 4 generations, and I mean, They grew up scrubbing the pumps and, you know, going on deliveries with their dad and and all of that stuff. And and that really wasn't my case. Andrew Richard [00:40:35]: I really, Truly kinda came from the outside in in 2009. Jared Flinn [00:40:41]: That's awesome. Yes. Well, Andy, the last I'm gonna ask and and this is just, for you to speak to our audience. You know, we represent now almost 8,000, Freight companies, across the US, a lot of them here in the Midwest, you know, from Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas. So many of our, members and listeners of the podcast, I I assume know of Sat Brothers or use Sat Brothers. Any last words that you'd like to to tell them before we close out? Andrew Richard [00:41:10]: I just say thank you for your years years years of support. And, you know, we we are built, you know, that it's kind of a goofy, saying. Right? I think maybe people who don't understand trucking, Or agriculture, or the worlds that we kinda live in. You know, just put boutique and and travel center or Truck stop in the same sentence. They may laugh at you. But really, I I think it's a very, very effective way to to think about it is that We're here to serve the guy who runs as an owner operator, who runs his own truck. The guy that serves the guy that has 25, And is doing that, I mean, that's really we we we absolutely service fleets that are 8 times that big. Right? But But how we're founded, or when you think about the core customer of Sapp Brothers, this you guys are who we serve. Andrew Richard [00:42:05]: You guys are the ones that are that are paying our bills, and we need to do everything we can to bless and serve you guys everyday. So if you don't You don't feel like that's happening. I mean, we have a website for him where I would love to hear what are the ways we can bless and serve you? What are the ways that One of the things, services, amenities, anything that you could think of that would make your life easier and better on the road, Yeah. I definitely wanna hear about them, and that that's who we need to keep thinking about, and making sure we're we're, keeping you guys in our focus, and hopefully, you guys feel that when when you stop at our places. And again, I can't tell you how much I appreciate, you guys and your business and and your trust and your stopping. You know, everything's important. Right? At, a car, you know, I think the average fill up on a car these days is is 10 gallons, and, the average fill up on a, on an over the road truck fill is, you know, Over a 100 gallons. Right? And with hours of service and other things, you know, you guys you guys are awesome. Andrew Richard [00:43:10]: You guys come to our facilities, You spend your hard earned money, and you have a lot of choices in where you can go, and you give us a lot of business. And so, Hopefully, we're set up to to serve you guys well when you're when you're stopping with us. Jared Flinn [00:43:23]: Yeah. That's well said. I think, it it hit my heart too to think that Yeah. We have 1, 2 truck operators and 50 plus companies, but, man, we we serve them all, and they're all equally important, to us and especially the the the small owner ops that, that make up a huge part of our trucking industry, especially the ag haulers, the ones in agriculture, grain, feed, fertilizer, the same customers, that you're dealing with. So For sure. Andy, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Man, I am so Glad that, that we got to connect. And, I remember Andy Holtz, it was a couple years ago. Jared Flinn [00:44:01]: I was up in Omaha, and he'd said that he'd he was friends with you. I was like, man, I would love I'd love to meet him sometime. I'm so mad. I'm so, so honored and blessed to do that. We have an office up there, Smart Freight. So when next time, I'm up that way. I think I told you. I'm gonna I'm gonna try to hit you up, and maybe the 3 of us will be over there. Andrew Richard [00:44:18]: We'll be back on Jared Flinn [00:44:18]: the lunch today. Andrew Richard [00:44:19]: Not not it's not Not right now. Do something like that or Coffee or something. So we would love to I'd love to connect above and beyond on this. And it was a blessing to be, on this podcast. It's act as I was telling Jared, this is my first one. So, hopefully, I didn't I didn't put everyone to sleep, especially, hopefully, if you weren't driving. But Jared Flinn [00:44:38]: That was perfect. Andy, thanks again for coming on. Appreciate it. Andrew Richard [00:44:42]: We really appreciate it. Thank you. Jared Flinn [00:44:44]: Tyler, I'm gonna let you kick this off first. What'd you think? Tyler Allison [00:44:48]: Amazing episode, I gotta say. I didn't know, I guess, how deeply embedded they were in agriculture. I didn't know. I mean, the whole story is just of, you know, how they got into business and why they're in the business, to bless and serve others, and their whole philosophy behind that with their, You know, god given abilities. But, yeah, I I guess I'd never realized that, you know, going back generations, like, it all started with, you know, Farmers and they were, sharecroppers and, they just continue to be, Really, just the overall stop for farmers and truckers, with agriculture. Jared Flinn [00:45:26]: Yeah. Obviously, their faith has got them to where they are today, trusting in the Lord, and I think that's what what's made them Successful. I mean, just their servanthood mindset, on customers. So yeah. And, I mean, just the power I mean, how many I mean, Andy was saying, like, They go through, like, a 100,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel Yeah. Or, I mean, through their network. So, I mean, they are, and moving a lot of fuel through their Tyler Allison [00:45:52]: through their systems. Yeah. And it it definitely goes a lot a long way whenever, you know, 1st and foremost, they put the lord lord first, but, you know, I think it's crazy. They don't sell any alcohol in their stops, Alright. And he, he was saying they don't do any, like, pornography or nudity or anything like that, which is amazing. It truly is just a family stop, a family rest stop. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:46:16]: Well, cool. Well, Andy, man, thank you so much for, graciously coming on the podcast. He's gonna be at our conference Tyler Allison [00:46:23]: Yes. I'm gonna Jared Flinn [00:46:23]: have to get in a couple months. So, Andy, he he said he will speak. I know I told you to put him on, but, yeah, I think we're gonna get him up there. Just Few words. It won't be long, but real our really get him to just talk a little bit about their story. Tyler Allison [00:46:36]: Yeah. I'm super excited. Guys, the conference, it's coming up. We're getting more and more tickets Sold each day, so you wanna make sure and go and grab yours. Go to bulk freight, and you can purchase your tickets there. You can see the schedule, the agenda, what's going on, and everything like that. Jared Flinn [00:46:52]: We know that, it's gonna be a here before we know it. We know people are busy. They can't sometimes you don't think you can get away. We want you to come. We said last time, and, again, we are gonna have it's set up, where you can drop in. You can go take care of work. So, man, do not, miss out this year. I guarantee you're gonna, have regrets if you do. Jared Flinn [00:47:14]: Yeah. Man, the business that you're gonna gain, your business may be flying right now, but I guarantee the the relationships that you're gonna make at this network effect, It's gonna be so well worth it. Tyler Allison [00:47:22]: Yeah. I agree. Yeah. Besides that, we do have mats coming up. People are kind of asking, are we gonna be their mats this year? We are the answer is yes. We will have the same exact booth as the previous years. Some people are reaching out for VIP tickets. We do have those available. Tyler Allison [00:47:39]: Reach out to us, podcast at, and we will send you free VIP, tickets to Matt's to come see us. We want to see there, interact with you. I think this year, we might have a truck in our booth. Yeah. One of our members is, allowing us to put his Joe rigging there. So we're super excited for that, and we'd love to see you there. Jared Flinn [00:47:57]: Yeah. Well, a couple other things before we, jet out of here. Hopefully, you follow us on Social media, but Joe, who does these podcasts Yep. He put together a Super Bowl commercial. So if you haven't yet, Check out our Super Bowl commercial. Yeah. I know the Super Bowl's done by now, and, most people will be watching us after the Super Bowl. But, yeah, check out our Super Bowl commercial. Jared Flinn [00:48:16]: I think, you will You'll be impressed. Tyler Allison [00:48:18]: It's really cool. Gave me goosebumps. Jared Flinn [00:48:20]: Yeah. Also, a lot of people who watch on our YouTube channel actually aren't subscribed. If you can Click on the subscribe button right above my finger, and make sure and subscribe. That way, you don't ever miss an episode. Actually, you'll be notified when a new episode comes out. Also, please, man, we, would love for you to share this with others Yep. That can benefit as well. We put these podcasts out really to help our community And enrich the knowledge of ours, and we believe knowledge is power. Jared Flinn [00:48:49]: And the more peep and the more power and knowledge you have, the better decisions you make. Yep. Exactly. So awesome. And as always, before we close out of here, just like when we talked about this podcast day with Andy and the faith, man, faith is strong, with us at bulk loads in our community, we wanna be praying for you and your family out there. Tyler, man, I'm a put you on the spot, man. Well, can you close us out Tyler Allison [00:49:09]: from here? 100%. Lord, we come to you, today just to thank you and praise you, lord. We just thank you for all your many blessings that you've given to all of us, lord, and we just ask that you just Forgive us of all of our sins in any wrongdoing. We know that we are not perfect, and we can never be perfect in your eyes, lord. I just ask that you just, you just bless All of our members out there and all of our community, we know that a lot of people are going through a lot of hardships. People are struggling right now with family. People are struggling with their business, with the economy in the market right now. I know some guys are Struggling with some finances, Lord. Tyler Allison [00:49:45]: So we just lift those guys up to you and just ask you, to bless them and give them guidance and just Security, lord, we know that you are a big god, and you can do big things, lord. We just thank you and praise you, lord, and we love you. Amen. Amen. Jared Flinn [00:50:01]: If you do have a prayer, please send them to prayer at We have a team on here. We would love to pray for you. Man, these we're getting more and more prayer requests and, and just different diseases and and things that, But, man, we just we know that it's man, it impacts everybody. Nobody needs prayer. So, man, don't be shy. Reach out to us with a prayer request. So Thank you as always for listening to the Bulk Loads podcast. Jared Flinn [00:50:28]: And as always,