THe vision behind Traintastic
“Almost everyone knows at least one person with a passion for trains”
The visionaries behind the TrainTastic™ Model Railroad Museum are Richard P. Mueller, Jr. and Glenn Mueller, Sr. The brothers were born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio, near Cleveland, and relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1981. That same year, the brothers developed the franchise rights to expand Domino’s Pizza outlets in Mississippi and Louisiana under the company name RPM Pizza, LLC. – which now operates more than 100 locations.
Richard Mueller, Jr. – eldest son of Dr. Richard Mueller & Rosemary Mueller – was the first to fly the nest. He joined Domino’s Pizza in 1967 as a pizza delivery driver and eventually opened his first Domino’s Pizza store in 1971.
Meanwhile, Glenn Mueller, Sr., graduated from college with an MBA. Glenn was advancing his career in California when Richard recruited him in 1981 to help build the largest U.S. master franchise of Domino’s Pizza – RPM Pizza, LLC. Richard retired from full-time duties in 2003 and sold RPM Pizza to Glenn, who still runs the franchise today.
“We made excellent partners because Richard was very strong and understood, through his 15 years of Domino’s Pizza experience, the marketing and the operations,” says Glenn. “I was able to help him on the financial, legal, and administrative sides. It’s been a great partnership; we’ve built hundreds of stores and helped hundreds of people along the way.”
Of course, with great success comes big responsibility, which transpired into a life-long dedication to giving back to the community. Each year, Domino’s Pizza gives more than $10 million to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; the Mueller brothers are a big part of that.
“The most important thing that a business owner can do is keep his business healthy, but as you become successful and as you, over time, accumulate a net worth, it’s important to give back to the community. As I retire, I make sure to do a significant amount of charitable work, and my biggest one, obviously, is going to be the TrainTastic museum, where we’re making a huge investment to build one of the largest model train museums in the world,” says Richard.
With the Mueller Brothers, it’s always been family first. Even today, RPM Pizza employs multiple members of the Mueller family in various positions.
The secret to their success? The brothers say there’s no single ingredient, but they believe it’s because they “Practice the Golden Rule – treat others like you want to be treated yourself.”
One of those opportunities is TrainTastic™, which has been fueled by a decades-long fascination with model trains that began when the brothers were kids. Richard started with just one Lionel model train as a child, only to expand his collection more and more over the years as he acquired them everywhere, from childhood friends to warehouses across the country.
“He [Richard] started with just one train and added more as we grew up. Of course, again, he’s older, but when he was a teenager, a lot of his friends were getting rid of their trains, or they didn’t have any interest in them anymore,” says Glenn. “Well, he kept collecting them, so we had a very large collection at a very quick price.”
TrainTastic™ is the latest expansion of the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum that started in 1990 at the Singing River Mall in Gautier, Mississippi.
“There was a [model train] club here that was struggling and lost their location, so then Richard found a building on Pass Road in Gulfport: and that one building became two buildings and then three buildings. The membership went from a handful to over 50 members now who have volunteered their time, expertise, and even some of their trains to figure out how to make that location on the north side of Pass Road something very special,” said Glenn.
It all stems from the Mueller Brothers’ love of trains.
“Almost everyone knows at least one person with a passion for trains,” Richard says, and it’s that genuine love for trains that the Mueller Brothers are thrilled both to share with the world and to ignite in everyone who visits TrainTastic™. After all, It’s Just Train Fun!