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Cleaning a way into the bar business

Derrick Teberg is a New York Mills High School graduate - Class of 1990 - who owns a duct cleaning, auto detail, and carpet cleaning business in New York Mills, as well as the Bluffton bar.

He jokingly calls himself a Jack of all trades, master of none. Although a light-hearted description, it does give us an idea of Derrick Teberg's diversity in business.

He's a homegrown entrepreneur who took what started out as a hobby detailing cars back when he was a high school kid, to a successful New York Mills business today.

Derrick is a NYM High School graduate who owns and operates Derrick's Auto Detail and Carpet Cleaning. And with that business he's branched off into air duct cleaning.

Eight months ago, Derrick branched off even more when he bought the Bluffton bar, which was then The Wurst Bar. Teberg renamed the place DJ's Powerhouse.

It all started with a kid and a dream. Not really, the detailing business more or less evolved over time.

Derrick, who graduated in 1990, has always been a car guy.

"I've always liked clean vehicles and started in high school detailing for a few people," he says.

Back then, Derrick worked at the Standard station for Gene Imsande and dabbled in detailing on the side.

In 1996, Lyle Teberg purchased the station from Imsande and Derrick worked and managed L&L Service until he bought the Bluffton bar this past October.

About five years ago, he got more involved in the detailing and started shampooing vehicles. He averages about 60 vehicles a year.

Some years later, he picked up a portable carpet cleaner and someone asked if he did houses.

"I just did it," he says. "I started buying up more equipment and that led up to where I am today."

For the carpet cleaning side of the business Derrick does both commercial and residential.

The business progression continued about two years ago when he started cleaning air ducts. Derrick says he was looking around on the Internet and learned a lot of carpet cleaners branch off.

"There are certain times of year (fall and winter) when carpet cleaning is slow," he added. "Air duct cleaning is what I do in the winter."

In spring and summer, things pick up for the carpet cleaning.

Once he had his vehicle detailing, carpet cleaning, and air duct cleaning business up and running, why not get involved in something else?

That's when he decided the time was right to buy a bar.

"I was looking for a change," Derrick says. "I was doing carpet cleaning while still at L&L. I wanted another business that kind of runs itself like this bar does. I have a good manager, good help. I wanted an investment. That way I can run my other business and branch out a little."

Derrick says he relies on the good help at the bar to run things. He only works two days a week but does stop in every morning to do a little book work and sit in on the coffee group.

He bought the bar from Jim Wurst at the end of October, right before the busy deer hunting season. Already an established and successful bar with a reputation for good food, Teberg is enjoying his newest business venture.

"It's fun. I like Bluffton. It's a small town and everybody is friendly. It's like Mills, just a little smaller."