Making Everyday Matter
Story and Photo by Samantha Jo Berry
Sitting behind a desk sprinkled with drawings and “I love you, Daddy” notes is a man who is more than meets the eye. The truth is that Daniel Stanton is a multitude of labels. Christian, father, husband, son, business partner and boss are just a few words one can use to introduce him, but one word trumps the rest. That word is humble.
Stanton and his wife, Stacy, are the parents of four children: Justin, 17, Blane, 14, Shaina, 8, and Jackson, 6. They will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary in May.
Stanton explained how the couple met. “We met when my brother married her sister,” Stanton said. “It’s cool to marry your best friend.”
Growing up in Idalou, Texas, Stanton said he always knew he would be a Red Raider. It was his mother’s dream.
“I considered other schools, but Tech easily won,” Stanton said. “My mother dreamed of seeing me walk across that stage.”
The choice to enroll in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources was an easy one as well. As an active participant in FFA, a scholarship helped him to decide on agricultural economics as his major, a decision he said has
“I’ve always loved numbers and agriculture,” Stanton said. “It made sense to major in agricultural economics, and I believe that I got an excellent education.”
How he has used that education is a story in itself. After working as an insurance adjuster, Stanton tapped into the restaurant business starting with the group that operated Johnny Carino’s restaurants. It was here he met his future business partner,Mickey Rogers.
Stanton’s career took him to several places across the U.S. including Albuqerque, N.M., Miami, Dallas, and Austin, Texas. It was while living in Phoenix the family realized they were unhappy. The family decided to let Justin choose where to go next. Justin chose Idalou.
Moving back, Stanton and Rogers began to look for a business concept. The pair chose the restaurant industry, and Café Venture was founded. The new business purchased seven existing Fuddruckers franchises in November 2007.
An important part of their business is community involvement. Both said giving back to their university is something they are committed to.
“We’re both Tech grads and Red Raiders for life,” Rogers said. “It’s important to be a good influence to the students because they’re the future.”
Stanton said giving back to the university, specifically CASNR, is important to him as well. He is often called upon to cater events for CASNR and speak to organizations.
“I believe in the value systems that come with the agriculture lifestyle,” Stanton said, “and the kids that come from that are worth investing in.”
In addition to Café Venture’s support of Tech, the company sponsors many youth athletic organizations and non-profit organizations in Lubbock.
While Stanton has had a successful and happy life, it has not come without some challenges or tragedies.
In 2000, Stanton and Stacy lost their daughter, Shayli. Stanton said the loss was devastating, but the family chose to be positive and look to God.
“God always has a plan,” Stanton said. “You either get bitter or you get better. We chose to get better.”
The loss of Shayli has an impact on how Stanton not only lives his life but how he runs his business. He said he views life as too precious to waste and wanted Café Venture to be a business focused on the family. He and Rogers wanted to make sure there was never a division between life, work and family.
Opening his personal journal, Stanton referred to Acts 2:42 as the guide he always turns to in life and in business. He said fellowship is very important to the way he wants to live his life and the kind of atmosphere he wants to create for his employees.
“My daily prayer is to be a blessing to someone,” Stanton said. “If you can help someone, then you’ve had a great, fulfilling day.”
Success is an obvious word to describe Rogers and Stanton, but both are eager to continue living life and seeing others succeed. Their advice to anyone about life and business comes from years of experience.
“Never be afraid to shake someone’s hand,” Rogers said. “You’ve just got to pull your boots up and go make it happen.” Stanton expanded on Rogers’s advice.
“Live your dream and take chances. Life is too precious to waste even one moment.”