McGregor is home to 5,000 people. The town just 20 miles southwest of Waco is like a well kept secret -- you don't know its intricacies until you are there. So it goes with Pinewood Roasters, a coffee roasting company that caters to cafes statewide. Pinewood is stationed in McGregor off of Main Street. Their dilapidated building is full of character: exposed brick and original wood flooring from what feels like centuries ago scale the inside of their building. Floor to ceiling windows provide ample light revealing the owners at work -- roasting coffee.
Dylan Washington and J.D. Beard met while working at Common Grounds, a coffee shop adored by Wacoans for its specialty drinks and music scene. Dylan wasn't in it for the money. He had a passion for the product.
"I've wanted to do this since I was 18," Dylan said. And he had been trying. Meeting other coffee enthusiasts through Common Grounds, Dylan would plot with his coworkers to try to get a business off the ground. But it always fell through. People flaked. Graduated. Moved on.
J.D., a Baylor business student at the time, liked the sound of building a company from the ground up.
"I like risk," J.D. said. Fresh out of college and money, starting a business was a risk. Coffee equipment is expensive -- roasters can go for $35,000, not to mention the costs of leasing a space and buying packaging equipment.
But the key for both J.D. and Dylan was the opportunity. The owner of Common Grounds offered them his account if they could get a business going. They treated it almost as an obligation.
"We had a reason to do it, so why wouldn't we?" J.D. said.
A year in, they have gotten their heads above the water. Traveling on the weekends to find new clients, Dylan and J.D. have plans to grow their business. They are even moving their roastery to downtown Waco in April, and will start serving coffee, too. But they haven't been without their share of scares.
Like when lightning struck their building, and all of their neighbor's electronics were destroyed. Or the leaks. Or leaving their equipment vulnerable to theft in the evenings -- the decades old doors not proving much of a security force.
Insurors Indemnity's P&C Underwriting Manager, Gail Locker has seen some more bizarre claims in her 15 years with the company. Like when a computer recycler's inventory was destroyed when a monitor caught fire after sitting in the sun for too long. Or when a child was struck by a car in a parking lot.
She more frequently deals with run-of-the-mill Texas claims, including lightning strikes and leaks. In regards to smaller businesses, like Pinewood, such hiccups could bankrupt them if they don't have the right coverage.
"They need to make sure they insure the value of their equipment properly," Gail said.
But that's what is hard. For these budding companies, skimping on coverage for inconceivable events makes sense. They have more money to purchase equipment, or hire employees. But the economical option is not always the wisest. Even considering business income insurance could be the difference between keeping the company and losing it.
"The most important thing is they get a good agent that can help them with the coverages that they truly do need," Gail said. The relationship is more personal than agent-and-client. The agent has to understand the details of their client's business. Has to discover those intricacies -- like a well kept secret, a hidden city, or a pair of entrepreneurs and their coffee