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Small Town, Big Business

Ballinger may be a small town, but we have two large businesses that call our community home.

Mueller, Inc. and Buddy's Plant Plus have each employed hundreds of residents from Ballinger and beyond over the years, making a tremendous economic impact in our area.

Mueller first opened its doors during the Great Depression in 1931. Walter Mueller's family business grew from making water cisterns for farmers and ranchers into a manufacturing giant for steel buildings and residential metal roofing.

The company -- which was purchased by the Davenport family in 1984 -- now has 36 locations in seven states, stretching from Phoenix, Arizona to Memphis, Tennessee. The development of two new facilities were underway, said Mike Fry, Mueller's advertising and marketing manager, in a 2023 interview.

Through it all, the company's headquarters have remained in Ballinger.

"We're proud to call Ballinger home," Fry said. "We have employees who have been with the company for 40 to 50 years, families as multi-generational Mueller employees. Our employees work together, go to church together, have kids in school together, and are involved in the community."

Mueller employs more than 300 people in Ballinger and more than 900 company-wide, Fry said.

Buddy's, which opened its fertilizer facility in 1988, has also grown into one of the leaders of its industry.

The company, which began with 25 full-time employees, now has as many as 500 employees during its busy season, said Buddy's president Ed Studer.

"We employ about a hundred full-time people, and then we flex up and down with the temp service," Studer said. "A good portion of them are here in Ballinger, but we've got people coming from Buffalo Gap, Abilene, San Angelo, Coleman, Paint Rock ... just the whole area."

The Studer family, which lived in Vero Beach, Florida, was initially exploring bigger markets like San Angelo, Midland and Odessa for their facility. 

During the search, their real estate agent suggested a building on the edge of Ballinger, and everything fell into place from there.

For employment opportunities at Buddy's, call Staff Management at 325-455-1182, visit them online at (job code 7202A) or visit their recruitment office at 2022 N. Broadway St.

For employment opportunities at Mueller, visit or call Personnel Services at 325-365-8880.

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