|4/4/2017 12:03:00 PM|
Two decades of digging in Sisters
|Mike Scherrer is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his rural Sisters business, Cascade Bobcat Service. photo by Steve Kadel|
By Steve KadelMike Scherrer has had a lot of jobs throughout his life. He's been a ski lift mechanic, a fabrication welder, a carpenter, a kayak instructor and guide, and a bridge builder. But there was always one talent he could rely on.
"I have this knack for running equipment," Scherrer said.
That's been the basis of his business, Cascade Bobcat Service, which marked its 20th year of operation on March 21. He received his contractor's license on that day in 1997 when the business was on Cloverdale Road. It has now moved to Forked Horn Drive, where Scherrer has his shop and home.
He and his wife, La Cresa, have been married for 30 years, and she takes care of the company books and helps line up clients. Her experience as the former events coordinator for the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce gave La Cresa lots of contacts.
"We built the business to be a home business," Mike said. "It's a partnership between my wife and I."
Cascade Bobcat does all kinds of excavating, from trenching and tree removal to grading for driveways or RV pads. He also creates ponds and berms.
"I can pretty much cover any kind of dirt work," said Scherrer, who goes by the nickname "Bobcat Mike" and wears a silver ring in one ear.
Comments from clients on the company's Facebook page include tributes to the graceful way Scherrer does his work. He said the goal is going beyond the adequate.
"It's my artistic outlet for sure," he said. "I have to be artistic with what I do. That's what I like about it."
He opened the business with a minimum of equipment: a 1960 Ford F350 truck he called "Old Orange" and a Bobcat skid steer. He has expanded over the years and now has nine implements, although Scherrer doesn't want to grow too big.
"I can only work so much," he said. "I'm only one guy."
The couple came to the Sisters area in 1995, and knew they wanted to open a business but weren't sure what kind. The choice was obviously a wise one, with Scherrer saying he keeps as busy with jobs as he wants to be.
He uses his shop to modify some of his implements, tailoring them to the type of jobs he does. He also uses the space for his beer-making hobby. He even has his own bottle labels, which read, "Bobcat Brewskys" and "Can Ya Dig It."
He's as meticulous about making beer as he is on an excavating job. Scherrer has a notebook that contains all the details of each batch of brew.
After 20 years in business, Scherrer gets most of his work by word of mouth from former customers. He's long been involved in the community, having donated his time for dirt work when the elementary school was built and giving a big price break to Habitat for Humanity for their houses.
Overall, Scherrer couldn't be happier with his business or his family's location just east of Sisters.
"This is what I've always wanted to do and where we've always wanted to be," he said. "We feel blessed."
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