Local men say they have customers covered

Argus-Press Photo/Sally York In the center, from left, are Hat Trick Tents and Events owners Byron Shattuck, John Gute (holding scissors) and Mo Shattuck, Bryon Shattuck’s brother, during a Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting held for the new business Tuesday in Owosso.

OWOSSO — Three local men have partnered to start a new business, Hat Trick Tents and Events, that also contributes to the community.

Brothers Mo and Byron Shattuck, and John Gute, have taken over the tents/tables business from the late Gary Felker, who operated Felker’s Tents, Tables & Chairs in Shiawassee County for nearly 30 years.

“I think they’ll do fabulous — I just love them,” said Karen Fischer of Owosso, Felker’s sister. “Gary would be very happy.”

Fischer and her husband, Ted Fischer, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hat Trick Tents and Events hosted by the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce at Big Boy restaurant Tuesday morning.

The Shattucks and Gute also came, bringing with them the large trailer, called the mobile command center, that stores the business’ equipment. Hat Trick offers pole and frame tents; banquet, round and ice tables; folding chairs; linens; and (coming soon) a platform stage.

Events include graduation open houses, weddings, barn parties, employee appreciation luncheons and many other kinds of gatherings — indoor or outdoor; small, large or in between.

“We’re available and we’d love to help to take care of the needs of Shiawassee County, whatever they are,” Mo Shattuck said. “We’ll do everything from corporate events and weddings to supplying extra chairs for small dinners.”

The Shattucks are the longtime co-owners of Shattuck Specialty Advertising/Delux Trophies & Awards in Owosso Township.

Gute, who will head up the day-to-day business operations, has experience working for nonprofit organizations. All three men belong to the same church.

“When Mo started having a conversation about buying the business, he approached me,” Gute said. “I said, the only way I’ll do this is if we can make a difference. This is a for-profit business, and we want to make money. But we want to use some of that money to help the community.”

“We’re looking at doing donations to organizations that need money to continue their mission,” Byron Shattuck said. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we make a difference doing what we do?’”

The closing on the sale of Felker’s Tents, Tables and Chairs took place last November. Since then, despite the winter season, Hat Trick Tents and Events is starting to take off, the new owners said.

There are other local party supply companies, the partners said, but there’s enough demand to keep them all busy.

“It’s going well,” Gute said. “We’ve had a number of people contact us for a number of different events.”

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