Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rob Schenz, Owner of Specialty Gas House, located in Columbus, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We sell, install and service gas fireplaces, bbq grills, gas lamps, fire pits, and gas lines. Our customers are homeowners, people that love to entertain and grill outdoors.

Tell us about yourself

I started my career in 1988 servicing gas lamps. I eventually started taking on jobs at The Gas House. The Gas House is a chain out of Cleveland, Ohio; they were in the same building as we are in now and did similar work. I would install and service gas lights and gas lines for them. In 2004, Gas House approached me to purchase the company, and I did. That is when Specialty Gas House as we know it started. So I have essentially been in this line of work since 1988! What motivates me is being able to provide a great service to the community, which in return lets me help the community even more by hosting fundraising events throughout the year.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is being in a position to be able to give back to the community. I host many fundraising events throughout the year that are 100% proceeds events. Those include:

  • The Ohio Eggfest (Big Green Egg grilling festival) - 100% of the proceeds are donated to cancer research. We have raised over $250,000 in the first 7 years.
  • Year-round we offer a discount called 10 for 10. Customers can get 10% off their order if they bring us 10 canned goods that we donate to our branch of the Mid-Ohio food bank. We average about 20,000lbs of food we donate every year from this program.
  • Buckeye BBQ Battle - BBQ competition, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Veteran's charity, Honor Flight Columbus.
  • We also host a cookout every Friday and cooking classes throughout the summer. 100% of those proceeds benefit various Veteran charities.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being able to please everyone.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start a business in something that you know.
  2. Surround yourself with the right people.
  3. Save time to give back to your community.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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