Seven years ago Randy Kelly of C olumbia Locker in Columbia City, Indiana bought a used Southern Pride SC-200. He now has two additional Southern Pride smokers: a Smoke Chef SC-600 in his retail meat market and a new SPK-500 mobile beside his building.
“We”ve gotten to be well known since we bought that first Southern Pride. Our reputation has grown on the quality of our product from the Southern Pride and we always stick with quality,” commented Randy. “That”s why we just bought another Southern Pride.”
From the smoked hams on the first Smoke Chef to the “Hog Roasts” served from the new Southern Pride mobile, the retail business at Columbia Locker has grown substantially over the years. “We realized that Southern Pride was good for our growth when the customers just kept coming back and coming back.”
“I”ve grown every year that I purchased another Southern Pride. My meat plant was worth maybe $100,000, but the last few years with Southern PrideI think the retail deli has made it worth maybe $400,000 to $500,000,” continued Mr. Kelly.
The meat processing business has always been hard for a little guy to make much money. “My
expenses kept going up and I couldn”t raise pricesenough to keep up,” added Randy. “With Southern
Pride and the new smoked meat business in our retail deli we are making good money, actually
exceeding our goals.”
The lunch business took off 6 years ago when they added the SC-600 to cook and serve beef brisket sandwiches, pork loin and smoked home made sausages, as well as smoked meat for take home. But the best growth came when they purchased the SPK-500 mobile and set it up outside of their retail deli.
“That Southern Pride mobile is just like a big billboard out front. I can not load or unload it without someone stopping to see what”s cooking,” chuckled Kelly. “When you add the wonderful hickory smoke smell coming from these smokers, it really gets people around town talking about our product.”
“The first weekend we had the SPK-500 outside, our goal was to sell 50 slabs of ribs which was double our previous average,” explained Randy, “that first weekend we cooked 150 slabs of ribs and sold them all by 6pm the first day. Our BBQ chicken business in wholes, halves, and pieces
has quadrupled because of Southern Pride. Customers love our Friday Night Baby Back Rib drive up service.”
Columbia Locker has doubled the “Hog Roast” business since adding the new SPK-500. They offer smoked ham and pulled pork with all the fixin”s to take out for parties
and picnics. Randy is talking about the next Southern Pride purchase an SPK-700 mobile, for
expansion into larger catering jobs.
“We bought the mobile smoker in May with a goal to pay for it by the end of the year. It will be paid off in less than three months. I have never had equipment pay for itself as fast as the Southern Prides,” beamed Kelly.
“Southern Pride has created growth for my business and it has secured my retirement” added Randy. “The bad thing about smoked meat on a Southern Pride is that all the new customers keep you running, in fact I”ve almost worn out a pair of boots. The good thing is with the profits from the Southern Pride, I can afford to buy new boots.”