Meet and Greet: Get to know Saddleback Fan, Troy Groetken

We have the coolest customers EVER here at Saddleback Leather Co. They not only love leather, but are also active in their communities and help make the world a better place.

Troy Groetken is one of our SuperFans. He loves Saddleback, love’s Dave’s blogs, and wants to see the company do really well. He called us up the other day to order some pads for his 2 Bucket BP’s, which he says are the greatest invention ever.  We were able to give him the pads at no charge since when he bought them the pads were not available. He was so happy that he insisted on donating the price of the pads to one of Dave and Suzette’s charities, JDRF. Troy says, “If you don’t pay back/pay forward, what are you really doing?”

The Groetken Children
Troy’s children, Greysen and Olivia with the families leather collection.

We sat down with Troy recently to find out more about his leather and his amazing community involvement.

SLC –  Where are you from?

Troy – I’m originally from Iowa, but I’ve lived in Chicago for over 20 years. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, just be yourself and help out those around you.  I’m currently a global patent attorney with an IP law firm in Chicago. I feel very blessed with them.

SLC –  What is your passion?

Troy –  People and the community. You’ve gotta look out for those around you. Makes my wife and I feel good about raising their kids. I’m involved with all sorts of organizations. For example, the Lions club, helping people of all ages with vision and hearing. Cristo Rey is an educational career track we use in the law firm to bring students in to check out law as career. Actually, when we look at candidates, we make sure they are community-involved. I am also active with the Moose Lodge, a campus for students without parents. We donate to my kids’ schools to make it possible for other students to attend, even if their parents can’t afford it.  I teach my kids to listen before they speak, and give them a worldwide perspective based on my travels for work. It’s worked out, really.

SLC –  Tell us about your favorite piece of leather.

Troy – My daily carry bag is my Bucket Backpack. It’s so easy! I have both DCB and TO.

Second is probably my  Duffel Bag. I love it for domestic travel: simple in security, everything in there, fits right in overhead, and I’m off! Super easy.

SLC – Have you ever met a stranger that was carrying Saddleback?

Troy – So many people ask about that bucket backpack! I just send them to the Saddleback website. I tell them it’s a super-functional, tank, waterproof, marine-grade stitching, the BEST I’ve ever seen! Nothing is anywhere near the quality in designing Saddleback leather.  It’s the only thing I travel with now. I put it on my spinner, it’s super fast, then I’m rocking and rolling. I’ve gone all over the world, every city, and both bags travel extensively with me.  They still look brand new, easy to carry, durable.

SLC –  How do you like your eggs?

Troy – Over-medium to hard-poached. No worry about extra oil, etc, and just add a little salt and pepper

SLC –  How long have you been a Saddleback fan?

Troy – Oh a number of years. We have an entire closet devoted to Saddleback bags! We’ve got a waterbag, beast, gadget bag, smaller bags that fit together. It’s an entire system, and it works  out great!  You know it’s your bag in checked luggage. Everyone else is just looking for a black bag, but you’re looking for Saddleback leather. My wife has satchel, among other things, and she loves the quality! Favorite of all for travel.

SLC –  What design would you like to see Dave come out with?

Troy – A 4-wheel spinner suitcase to finish my collection! I do love the new Doctor’s bag. It’s very functional for weekend trip

SLC – For or against onions?

Troy –  I’m for onions! There’s so many different types; red on salad, Vidalia for cooking, etc.

SLC –  How do you make the world a better place?

Troy – It’s a choice. You just have to be involved. Just step up, even a little bit helps, just do SOMETHING.. You’ll have so much fun with it because you chose it, and I bet you’ll be really happy. My whole family is involved, my wife too, and now we’re involving the kids with serving in the food pantry, etc. That’s the point: you need to do this throughout your life. Owning things and going on trips is great, but enriching your life is where it’s at.