Foard Houston and Debbie Calame, Owners, Rose Hall at Sandy Oaks Ranch

“I cannot thank Ben Garza and the SBDC enough for all the support and wealth of information in helping us prepare for this new adventure! We could not have done it without the knowledge and dedication that walked us through this process. Many, Many Thanks”

Their Story:

Sandy Oaks Ranch in Devine, Texas was originally a wing-shooting facility with lodging; however, due to a severe drought in South Texas, the quail population declined dramatically. Making a living solely on the hunting industry would not bring enough income to keep the business profitable. It was then that owners Foard Houston and Debbie Calame envisioned a plan to utilize Sandy Oaks Ranch for a new venture – a “special events” rental facility. Specifically, they wanted to promote the use of their land for weddings, receptions, and other special events. They started promoting weddings at their Live Oak Pavilion which is primarily an outdoor facility. After a few weddings, they discovered that they needed to build a beautiful banquet hall with an outdoor gazebo for brides to have the option of having an indoor or outdoor wedding. The ability to build the new hall would be possible through securing substantial funding, so Ben assisted them with updating their financial projections and helped them prepare the loan package to submit to a lender. Upon loan approval, construction of “Rose Hall” began. Today, the newest addition is a 6,000 square foot, climate-controlled hall with a 10-foot wraparound porch tucked in the most natural setting of Live and Spanish Oaks. The name Rose is derived from Foard’s grandmother, Rose Harpman Meyer, who originally owned the property along with Ferdinand Meyer. They both passed the ranch down to their daughter Carol Houston, Foard’s mother. Rose’s painting will be displayed in Rose Hall in their office for all to admire. Their new expansion, Sandy Oaks Ranch created 15 new jobs and retained two existing jobs.