Locals Cashing In on Oil Business Boom

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MADISONVILLE, Texas The oil boom in Madison County means good business for the local economy.

Walkers Cafe has been a hot spot for locals since Angela Culbreth and a co-owner bought the old pharmacy and turned it into a café in 2008.

About a year and a half ago, business would get even better.

"I got a phone call from an oil rig in North Zulch, and they ordered 17 hamburgers," said Culbreth.

Culbreth made the delivery herself. That's when the idea first came to her.

"I looked up at this big rig, and I said a prayer," said Culbreth. "I said, God, I could sure use some of this oil field business."

Thirty minutes later, another call came in from the oil field industry. This time, it was for 30 lunches to be delivered over the next five days.

"That was an answer to prayer," said Culbreth.

Since then, Walkers Café has never been the same. Culbreth said oil workers account for about 40 percent of her daily business, and that's not including the deliveries her café makes to the field on a regular basis.

And she's not alone. Businesses all over town have benefited from the oil boom.

"You go into Brookshire Brothers on the weekends and you'll see the guys who are living on the rigs filling up their carts."

Culbreth said oil field workers are a pleasure to do business with.

"These guys are unbelievably generous. They're generous with their tips, they're generous with their money. They try their very best to spend money locally. They don't like to buy from chains, they really like to support the local businesses," said Culbreth.

The oil business is good news for the local jobs front too, employing people from all around the area.