Who could supply the party in the Grove better than the students themselves?
John Jordan Proctor and Rob Koestler own Grove Daddy Tent Company. The business itself was handed down to Proctor three years ago from a friend who had graduated. Proctor worked for Grove Daddy for a year before taking over as the technical owner. However, Koestler pulls an equal amount of weight when it comes to getting the work done.
When Proctor and Koestler took over the business, they changed the name and began offering a wider variety of options for clients. These changes that have increased the quantity and quality of the business. One change in particular that has made a large impact on the business was launching a website.
“At least 75 percent of our business comes from our website and the rest is done by word-of-mouth,” Procter said. “You treat one customer right and they tell their friends.”
On big games, Grove Daddy sets up between 45 and 50 tents. The Grove Daddy team sets up tents and chairs, fills coolers, brings hay when it’s muddy, and sets up televisions. Unlike the larger tent set-up companies around, Grove Daddy claims to offer a more personalized experience to its customers.
“We make relationships with our customers and we can customize your order,” Koestler said. “That is why we have so many returning customers.”
Proctor and Koestler say they enjoy seeing how their work creates a happier Grove experience for their customers on game days, but have noticed the negative sides to being part of Grove set-up and break-down as well.
“One thing that bothers me is the mentality that everything brought out here (to the Grove) is supposed to be thrown away,” added Proctor. “It’s a disposable weekend. The University hangs green recycling bags at every tent, but no one follows those rules.”
Grove Daddy has started promoting the University’s recycling program to their customers to help keep the Grove clean.
Proctor said he plans to operate Grove Daddy for a couple more years, but he hopes to eventually pass the business down to the next generation of students, much like the opportunity was passed down to him.
“My desire would be to find someone that is hard working and needs the money,” said Proctor. “You can’t find a better job for seven weekends. When you find someone that needs the cash, they’re going to do a better job. It teaches good management and business skills.”
So if you’re coming to Oxford for a Rebel football game or if you need a tent for every game next season, give Grove Daddy a shout to help University students. You can reach them at: email@example.com, John Jordan Procter – 662-822-3348 or Rob Koestler – 662-822-2457.
— Hayden Phillips is a student in the Meek School of Journalism