The Result of One Man’s Vision
Dwight Schaubach started his business career with E.I.DuPont in south Richmond. After working there for only ten months, he was included in a large layoff by the company due to a business slowdown. He moved to National Linen Service where he was promoted to supervisor. He continued at National Linen for another three years, until Carmine Foods hired him as manager of its seafood processing plant.
His entrepreneurial spirit manifested itself in his bid for a franchise in Carmine’s Chic A Sea fast food restaurant chain. The company, however, preferred to have him running its plant, so he and his brother, Elliott, opened their own chicken and seafood restaurant in 1969. They named it Feather-N-Fin, with four tables and a lot of carry-out business. By 1980, they had seven restaurants in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Suffolk, VA.
In the mid-1970′s, the man who had been picking up the trash from Dwight Schaubach’s home approached him about removing food waste from his restaurants. This venture ran into problems and Schaubach agreed to back the man with funds to comply with the city’s requirements. However, his would-be partner did not agree and Schaubach (always having a serious interest in trucks) decided to purchase a truck and 100 containers from a schoolmate. Bay Disposal was born under the direction of the two Schaubach brothers.
Bay Disposal began picking up solid waste from restaurants and other commercial and industrial operations in the area. In 1985, Schaubach had become aware of special needs for the removal of medical waste and, after visiting a plant with an incinerator while in Europe, he bought a 20-ton-a-day incinerator to burn medical waste in Norfolk. In 1986, the new company, Incendere, was added to the operation to collect and dispose of medical waste. Incendere was soon collecting medical waste in an area from New Jersey to Georgia. By 1988, the first incinerator was operating at capacity and Incendere added two more units. Bay Disposal was sold to Chambers Development of Pittsburgh in 1989. In 1990, Incendere sought to expand its operations into Ohio. There, in Alliance, Schaubach bought municipal solid waste hauler, Max Disposal and Recycling which grew into a $5 million a year operation. Subsequently it was sold to Laidlaw Environmental Services.
The same month, Schaubach purchased one of the oldest businesses in Norfolk, Johns Brothers, founded in 1892. He divided its operations into two entities – one dealing in air conditioning, heating systems, heating oil, and commercial refrigeration, and the other in security system installation and central station monitoring. Johns Brothers Security is the largest independent security company in Virginia and ranks in the top 60 in the United States.
The need to keep their restaurants in good condition had led to another Schaubach venture in 1978, Bay Builders. By 1990, it had expanded to housing construction with seventy-five all brick homes built in the Warrington Estates subdivision in Suffolk, VA. The Nansemond River Estates subdivision, started in 1996, has more than 160 upscale brick homes, and in its current phases will add at least another 200 more homes when completed.
Schaubach collects, restores and shows antique cars, particularly Duesenbergs and Buicks. Schaubach Restorations, Inc. completed the restoration of a 1929 Duesenberg which was one of the first built and was named an outstanding vehicle in 1998 by the National Awards Committee of the Antique Automobile Club of America. That car has won many other local and national awards, as have other cars in the Schaubach collection.
Schaubach is also involved as a majority owner of a federally chartered SBIC in Connecticut. His Chesapeake Deep Water Terminal has a lease, with an option to buy, on ninety-seven acres of land on deep water in Chesapeake, VA, which he plans to develop. He also has a majority interest in Alliance Financial Corp; founded in 1996 to provide convenient and specialized financing for the sale of equipment and vehicles by Schaubach companies.
Dwight Schaubach has built his local business empire, employing more than 265 employees, on hard work and a sense of the needs of the community. He has been involved in numerous charitable and civic organizations over the years, giving willingly of his time and resources.