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New Brown Book Shop owners plan to adapt to the digital age

 
Brown Book Shop, founded in 1946, has sold technical publications at its store in downtown Houston. It has grown into one of the world’s largest bookstores that cater to the niche of oil and gas companies. Pictured is the new owners Steven Plumb and​ Noah Davis.
As seen in the Houston Chronicle By Erin Mulvaney
February 11, 2014 | Updated: February 11  
The Brown Book Shop has evolved over nearly seven decades from an art, poetry and fiction salon for the city’s elite to a specialty outlet for technical handbooks, manuals and industrial codes for the booming energy sector.

Now, the downtown institution at 1517 San Jacinto is poised for the next stage in its transformation. It has been sold, and new owners Stephen Plumb and Noah Davis hope to expand the Brown Book Shop’s customer base and move it into the digital age.

“We realized the business had a lot of potential,” Plumb said. “We wanted to use the success as a spring board to launch it into the digital media age.”

The shop will keep its name and continue in the downtown location it has operated in since 1987.

But the focus will increasingly be online. Plumb and Davis were hired by Pat Ginther, the second owner in the store’s 68-year history, in July to help reverse a downward sales trend that Davis said had Ginther within a week of closing the doors.

Over the last six months, Brown Book Shop’s online presence has increased significantly and the store also now offers tools, supplies and maps for engineers. Sales have since doubled, Davis said.

The new owners also plan to begin publishing books through the new Brown Publications.

Brown Book Shop carries about 10,000 titles, including many hard-to-find titles for engineers, electricians and architects with titles such as “Drilling Data Handbook,” “Pipe Fitters Manual” and “Handbook for Riggers.” Books cost on average between $200 and $300.

The new owners feel confident enough in their business plan to renew Brown’s lease until 2019 and doubling the staff to 10 employees. They are remodeling the offices and a portion of the building and plan to add a daily feed of industry news to the website.

“The idea is to make Brown a resource for people in the field,” Davis said.

Last year, the shop generated $1.65 million in sales. The new owners estimate that will double in 2014 and continue to double annually for the next five years.

When original owner Ted Brown opened the shop in 1946, well-heeled Houstonians visited the shop for rare leatherbound books and first-editions, and the store would host famous authors for book signings.

He likely saved the store from going out of business by radically adapting the focus to technical books from oil and gas companies. He purchased books from across the United States, in Canada, Europe and South America.

Ginther bought the business from Brown in 1980 and moved it to its current location in 1987, maintaining the technical focus.

The new owners say its one of the only remaining technical bookstores in the world and that it has about 3,000 active accounts with oil and gas, petroleum engineering and marine industry companies. Many of their existing customers are based in Houston.

Irwin Miller of The Service Corps of Retired Executives said he thinks brick and mortar and online can work together in retail. He said although the Brown name is well known in Houston, the owners need to market themselves to a broader customer base.

“The world is changing and you have to change with the world,” he said. “Their accessibility will be way beyond just Houston. I think their market is larger. People all over the world would need technical books.”

About 30 percent of business still comes from walk-in customers, Davis said.

“I think it’s a testament to the Houston area,” he said, “and how strong the market is here and how strong the energy industry is here.”

 

http://www.clearfinancials.com/​
 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in News

 

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SEC halts trading in a number of micro-cap companies yesterday

Yesterday, the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) halted trading in 255 securities, mostly micro-cap dormant shell companies.  Per Laura Anthony, Founding Partner and Attorney at Legal & Compliance, LLC (legalandcompliance.com):

On February 3, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended the trading in 255 dormant shell companies.  The trading suspensions are part of an SEC initiative tabbed Operation Shell-Expel by the SEC’s Microcap Fraud Working Group.  In May 2012, the SEC suspended the trading on 379 shell companies and in June 2013, it suspended 61 shell companies as part of the initiative.  Each of the companies was a dormant shell that was not current in its public disclosures.  Each of the companies failed to have adequate current public information available either through the news service on OTC Markets or filed with the SEC via EDGAR.

Check out her BLOG and post concerning this important happening at http://securities-law-blog.com/2014/02/04/shell-companies/?utm_source=SEC+Files+Administrative+Proceedings+Against+19+S-1+Companies+And+Suspends+Tradi&utm_campaign=Shell+Companies&utm_medium=email#sthash.zxGi1Ndv.dpuf

Here is the SEC’s announcement at www.sec.gov/litigation/suspensions/2014/34-71465.pdf.


© 2014 by Rhodes Holdings LLC, all rights reserved. Quote from Laura Anthony’s BLOG as referenced above.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in BLOG, Business, Public markets

 

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BenchMark Signs Manufacturing Agreement in Mexico for Antifreeze Production

Coldspring, Texas (January 14, 2014) – BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK, a refiner and supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes, announced it has signed agreements with a processing company in Mexico to provide them with refined Glycerin, and for the production and shipment of BenchMark’s own brand of antifreeze for resale to consumer market here in North America.

Under the agreement, BenchMark Energy will supply increased shipments of refined Glycerin to its Mexican partner, and in return will be provided manufacturing, production, and shipment of BenchMark’s own brand of antifreeze, now to be marketed under the new brand name Timberline Antifreeze.

Once in full production, our Mexican production facilities should be on course to ship up to 150,000 gallons of antifreeze to the company per month. The Company anticipates that the first shipments of their new Timberline Antifreeze product should be on store shelves by the end of January 2014.

Mark Bateman, the CEO of BenchMark Energy Corp. commented, “We are very excited to announce our contracts with our Mexico partners for the production of Timberline Antifreeze as our first commercial Glycerin-based retail consumer product. We feel by utilizing our secure supply of Glycerin, and the environmental aspects of using our Glycerin-based product as opposed to Ethylene Glycol, that BenchMark will be providing a cutting edge new product within the antifreeze market.”

ADVANTAGES OF GLYCERIN BASED ANTIFREEZE

- Less corrosive on engine parts
- More cost-effective than Ethylene Glycol based Antifreeze
- Close to neutral on a corrosive scale
- Better for the environment (less toxic)
- Supportive of the renewable fuels industry

UNIT SIZES TO BE MARKETED

Timberline Antifreeze will be marketed in both 1 gallon containers, 55 gallon drums and bulk ISO containers. The 1 gallon containers will be focused on the retail market, providing a superior product at a lower cost per container than conventional antifreeze. Through internal and marketing price reviews they feel Timberline Antifreeze will be extremely competitive price wise to current antifreeze products on the market.

The 55-gallon drums and ISO containers will be marketed towards transportation companies, farmers, school systems, automotive repair shops, and other enterprises that service fleets of vehicles. Although launch is still pending for January 2014, BenchMark has already received indications of interest from transportation companies as potential pre-orders.

Additional blends of Timberline Antifreeze are expected in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Photos of the recent signing of this agreement will be posted shortly on our official Twitter account at https://twitter.com/BenchMarkE

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” – Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
Phone: (832) 691-0011
Email: investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Business, News, Public markets

 

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Glycerin as a Greener Alternative to Ethylene Glycol in Antifreeze

Coldspring, Texas (January 09, 2014) – BenchMark Energy Corp (OTCPink:BMRK), a supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes refiner and supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes, announces that the use of Glycerin in BenchMark’s upcoming Timberline Antifreeze product line is a greener alternative to Ethylene Glycol in antifreeze and engine coolant products.  ASTM International recently announced standards wherein the use of Glycerin within antifreeze and engine coolant products is seen as a much more environmental friendly and cost-effective alternative than Ethylene Glycol, which is the most prevalent component today. Glycerin, which is nontoxic to the environment, was used as a heat transfer agent in antifreeze formulations as early as 1920, but was eventually replaced by Ethylene Glycol in the 1930’s due to cost considerations.

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

ADVANTAGES OF GLYCERIN BASED ANTIFREEZE

- Close to neutral on a corrosive scale
- Glycerin is less corrosive to engine parts than Ethylene Glycol
- More cost-effective than Ethylene Glycol
- Better for the environment
- Supportive of the renewable fuels industry

UNIT SIZES TO BE MARKETED

Benchmark’s Antifreeze product line will be marketed in both 1 gallon containers and 55 gallon drums. The 1 gallon containers will be focused on the retail market, and through internal review, we feel could be very price competitive to current antifreeze products on the market.  55-gallon drums will be marketed towards transportation companies, farmers, school systems, automotive repair shops, and any enterprise that services fleets of vehicles. Although the launch is still pending for January 2014, Benchmark has already received indications of interest from transportation companies for pre-orders.

Mark Bateman, CEO of Benchmark Energy Corp. commented, “We are excited to announce the upcoming launch of Benchmark’s Antifreeze product line as its first commercial retail consumer product.  By utilizing our Glycerin supply and the positive environmental aspects of using Glycerin instead of Ethylene Glycol, we feel Benchmark is embarking on a cutting edge new product within the antifreeze market.”

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” – Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
Phone: (832) 691-0011
Email: investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Business, News, Public markets

 

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Ludlow Research Issues Opinion on BMRK Based on Pending Launch of Commercial Antifreeze Product

NEW YORK, (December 27, 2013) – BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK, a refiner and supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes, announces research report on company, based on pending commercial launch of retail brand antifreeze product called BenchMark Antifreeze.
 

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

- Top Supplier of Raw and Refined Glycerin
- Launching Commercial Antifreeze Product in mid-January 2014
- Strong Contacts with Transportation Fleet Shippers
- 24 Million Shares Outstanding
- Public Float only 1.1 Million
- Valuation Target $1.00 ($24 million market cap)

Benchmark Energy is one of the largest traders of both refined and raw Glycerin in North America, which is a by-product of biofuel production. They hold partnerships with nearly 60 biofuel production facilities across the US as suppliers of raw Glycerin, which is then resold to industrial manufacturers for the commercial process of other end use products.

Through their years of operation, and wide-scope of distribution through both rail and freight transportation across North America, the Company has established a number of contacts within their transportation and freight hauling network. The Company is in the process of launching their first brand retail antifreeze product in January 2014, to be marketed under the brand name ‘BenchMark Antifreeze’ towards a number of fleet transportation operators.

VALUATION POTENTIAL

As of Dec. 2013, the Company had approximately 23.5 million common shares issued and outstanding, with a public float of around 1.1 million shares. Along with BenchMark’s extensive network of trucking and fleet transportation contacts, their commercial retail antifreeze product expected for commercial launch in mid-January, potential for pre-orders to their transportation network, and a tight public float of just around 1.1 million, there is real potential for a sharp appreciation in their overall market capitalization value at these levels.

For more information of this research valuation report please visit http://www.wallstreetnewscast.com/profile/bmrk.html

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” – Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
Phone: (832) 691-0011
Email: investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Business, News, Public markets

 

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Lone Star Gold, Inc. purchases Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc. and appoints Mark Townsend as CEO

Houston, Texas (December 23, 2013) – Lone Star Gold, Inc. (OTCBB: LSTG) announces the acquisition of Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc., a media production company with operations providing music, film, video, and television recording services globally. As part of the acquisition, the Company appointed Mark G. Townsend as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Scott A. Hepford as Director and Chief Operating Officer (“COO”).

Even though the acquisition of Channeland provides a new direction for Lone Star Gold, Inc., the new management team of Mr. Hepford and myself intends to monetize the previous gold mining projects and concessions in order to retain that shareholder value,” said Mr. Mark G. Townsend, incoming Lone Star Gold, Inc. CEO. “Channeland’s value to Lone Star Gold, Inc. is its long standing operations spanning back to 1994 and its three pronged approach to growth – media production, media delivery technology, and media portfolio ownership. We intend to grow rapidly through acquisitions in all three areas.

Rhodes Holdings LLC provided strategic consulting services as part of the transaction. Over the coming weeks, management will release information on Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc. and our new operations plan for Lone Star Gold, Inc. More information about Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc. maybe found at http://channeland.com and http://channeland.wordpress.com.

ABOUT LONE STAR GOLD, INC.

Lone Star Gold, Inc. is a publicly traded (OTCBB: LSTG) company with assets in the mineral exploration arena and a subsidiary providing media production services globally in music, film and television production and technology.

Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc., the Company’s media production subsidiary, has current operations providing music, film, television and Internet recording and media production services globally. Channeland’s clients include artists, film makers, television producers, record labels, and large media groups such as Sony, EMI, and Universal Pictures. With a successful track record spanning back to 1994, Channeland has current personnel with multiple platinum and gold albums and Grammy award winning projects (Mr. Townsend), and credits such as Shania Twain, DC Talk, Israel Houghton, Third Day, and The Newsboys.

The Company’s gold exploration and development assets are a 70% Working Interest in concessions covering 800 hectares in the La Candelaria project in Chihuahua, Mexico and an undivided 65% interest in the San Antonio del Potrero mine tailings project near the city of Hidalgo Del Parral in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

ABOUT RHODES HOLDINGS LLC

Rhodes Holdings LLC (“RHL”, http://rhodesholdings.wordpress.com) provides strategic consulting to companies seeking to implement high growth strategies in publicly traded companies. RHL helps clients seek financing through the public markets, either through mezzanine debt, equity or bank debt.

CAUTIONARY NOTE TO U.S. INVESTORS

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. We may use certain terms in this press release, such as “measured,” “indicated,” and “inferred” “resources,” which the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 10-K which may be secured from us, our website at http://www.lonestargold.com or from the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking and which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements are within the meaning of that term in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in question are based on Lone Star Gold, Inc.’s current expectations and projections about future events, based on information currently available. The forward-looking statements found in this press release may also include statements relating to Lone Star Gold, Inc.’s anticipated financial performance, business prospects, new developments, strategies, and similar matters. Lone Star Gold, Inc. provides no assurance regarding the actual outcome of the events contemplated by any forward-looking statements included in this release. Lone Star Gold, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

CONTACT

Lone Star Gold, Inc.
700 Louisiana Street
Suite 3950
Houston, TX 77002

ir@lonestargold.com
investors@channeland.com

http://www.lonestargold.com
http://channeland.com


© 2013 by Lone Star Gold, Inc. and Channeland Entertainment Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, all rights reserved. Used here by permission.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in News, Public markets

 

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BenchMark Prepares Launch of its Antifreeze and Commercial Retail Product Line

Coldspring, Texas (December 16, 2013) – BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK, a refiner and supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes, announces preparation for the launch of its own line of commercial retail products in the coming weeks.

The Company announced it is in final preparations for the launch of its consumer antifreeze product, which will be marketed under the brand name ‘BenchMark Antifreeze’.

The Company anticipates commercial launch of its antifreeze product in the coming weeks in Houston, Texas, with plans to expand its sales to other regions as our logistical supply chain ramps up. The initial launch will be targeted for consumer outlets within the region, as well as mechanic shops and trucking fleets through our existing distribution contacts within the Glycerin shipping network. Launch of this product is anticipated sometime in early to mid-January 2014.

COMMERCIAL RETAIL BRANDS

The pending launch of the retail antifreeze product is a major milestone for BenchMark Energy as it now expands our operations from Glycerin bulk trading to its own line of commercial branded products under the Benchmark name. In addition to this initial antifreeze product the company is quickly finalizing development and commercial launch of other Glycerin based products to its brand portfolio, such as de-icers windshield washer fluids and refined lubricants.

PRODUCTION CAPACITY

Through our partnership in Mexico, BenchMark is shipping Technical Grade Glycerin, which in return is being processed into established antifreeze product and labeled under the Benchmark Antifreeze brand name. This existing supply contract allows us to immediately have a finished product ready for commercial sales, and Benchmark anticipates production capacity of up to 150,000 gallons per month.

After initial launch into the retail marketplace the company will then work to develop an existing sales and division to assist in focusing developing the sales and marketing of the BenchMark brand of products.

Mark Bateman, the CEO of BenchMark Energy Corp. commented, “We are very excited to announced the upcoming launch of BenchMark’s first commercial retail consumer product. While we have been focused as a main trader within the Glycerin market place, our move to expand our portfolio to retail and commercial branded products will not only enlarge Benchmark’s revenue potential, but assist in improving the company’s margins through retail sales. We are very excited that this development will help to build value for BenchMark shareholders, which is our ultimate goal.”

Additional information such as time and dates for our upcoming launch of our first commercial retail product will be announced shortly. For any media inquiries as to this upcoming event please contact investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com

SHARE STRUCTURE

As of Dec. 2013, the Company had approximately 23.5 million common shares issued and outstanding, with a public float of around 1.1 million shares.

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” – Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
Phone: (832) 691-0011
Email: investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Business, News, Public markets

 

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