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It all started with turkeys

I’m surprised how often I get comments from people that love Buechel Stone’s social media posts. We have an AMAZING marketing team at Buechel Stone so of course our content is great:). That’s not why I’m surprised. To me it’s just showing others who Buechel Stone is and what we feel is important. I often forget the things we do for our employees, customers, and community isn’t always similar to what other businesses do. Buechel Stone is not this super-huge business that can throw money around and call their commitment to their employees and community “DONE.” I’ve gotten comments talking with people ranging from “Love your posts”, “It’s amazing what you guys do for your employees”, “I wish my work was as fun and exciting as Buechel Stone”…


We are a stone company. It’s not really that sexy. Images of old miners and deep quarry holes come to mind. Stone age is still a common term thrown around by people in the building industry when it comes to their idea of what working at a stone company is.

Thinking back there is something we did eight years ago that showed a real visual about what is important at Buechel Stone.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been doing great things for our employees for a long time. Tim and Scott have always been generous and have big hearts when it comes to the employees. So much so it wasn’t usual for people to take advantage of the situation because Tim and Scott so often would see the best in people.

Tim and Scott handing out a plaque to Donny for 25 years of service. Donny is still here with over 40 years of employment.

When the economy tanked in 2010 Buechel Stone was hit really hard. Just a short time before this we switched banks. They didn’t see our value. We had also just put up the CMF (our Chilton Manufacturing Facility). It was a perfect storm of bad timing. A long story short, the bank closed the line of credit, and we were forced to look for a new bank. On top of that we had to tell everyone we could not pay them. It was a long and painful time in the history of the business. As with anything difficult though, you learn a lot. We were able to find a new bank and get through this difficult time period.

One thing that was in full display though was the employee’s love for the business, and Tim and Scott specifically. So many people did whatever they could to help get through that time; from coming in to help process product to calling customers to see if they could use any stone. Everyone worked to make today possible.

So there’s the backstory to get to my current point. Even 10 years ago there was little to no social media. These things weren’t out there for public viewing. They were just part of everyday at Buechel Stone. As a kid I remember a lot of small things that were big deals – Friday lunch meals for the employees, Grandma making Turtle soup for everyone (yes – that used to be a thing…), contests for fastest splitter & packagers, and of course the old case of beer penalties to make sure everyone worked smart. (oh… you’re wondering what the case of beer penalties were …? It was things like paying a 6-pack for each stitch if you got stitches, a 12-pack for tipping over a pallet, a case for a flat tire, etc. Never fear though, if things were going well with no penalties they’d make sure there was a beer there for everyone.) Everyone worked hard, and they enjoyed a beer together afterwards. Imagine the fines and penalties that would come from that now-a-days if there was beer in the break room.

Tim and Scott were giving, and they didn’t think much of it. It was just part of the charm of  Buechel Stone. They wanted people to enjoy the work.

Tim in the old splitter shed break room having a beer with the other employees after a day of splitting stone.
Tim in the old splitter shed break room having a beer with the other employees after a day of splitting stone. 

After the Great Recession it was really hard to show everyone how grateful we were for all the time, help and dedication everyone put in. No words could say what we wanted to say, and money was still a hard thing to come by. We came up with the idea of giving everyone a turkey for Thanksgiving. It was a small thing, but still a big deal as well. For me, there’s more to employing others than giving them a place to work. It’s important to show thanks through a great symbol as well, “Thank You for all you do. Your family is as important to us as you are. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy this turkey.”

In 2011 social media was becoming more popular. Buechel Stone had a Facebook page, but I’d just throw things out there to see what stuck. There was no strategy, no thoughts of relevance. Just posts on a page…

First turkey handouts in 2011
First turkey handouts in 2011

What social media, (Facebook specifically) did was bring this great and giving philosophy to the front stage of the world. People on the outside were now becoming aware of the meaningful things happening every day at this stone company in Wisconsin. We are handing out turkeys for the eighth year in 2018, and it never gets old. There are few things in life you can do that help show others they and their families mean something to you. A job is one thing. Any employer can do that. Showing you care and want the best for their family, well that’s something you can’t fake. It’s too easy to spot the legitimacy behind gifts. Let’s face it, everyone remembers the “Jelly of the Month” gift in the movie Christmas Vacation because everyone knew what the gift was – nothing but an empty gesture.

With this year’s turkeys, we will have handed out over 1,000 turkeys to the employees (who are now more appropriately titled #rockstars). The turkeys also help other businesses in the community. It’s generated sales of $13,000 for the local meat market. That’s important as well to keep our fellow businesses open in the community.

So to bring this full circle, I can say Buechel Stone has been a great place to work for a long, long time. We’ve been doing things to show gratitude for the employees as long as I can remember, so I’m always a little taken back when I get comments about how great Buechel Stone must be to work and people love our social media posts. For me it’s just another day on the job. For others, they get to see the genuine appreciation we have for every #rockstar here. It has been this way from day one – the turkeys just happen to be our first Facebook post showing the outside world what Buechel Stone is all about, day in, day out. We can say we’ve come a long way since the beginning, but one constant is showing appreciation for our #rockstars. Below is a few of our 2018 turkey hand outs. At the end is a brief YouTube Video of a Hardscape Blogger that agrees – we do Great work with Social Media :). 

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