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Store: Kishman’s IGA Market Location: Minerva, Ohio Submitted by: Matthew Kishman Difficulty: Moderate
We have branched out into smoked meat with a mobile smoker and concession wagon, called Kishman’s Smokehouse. We use the smoker for catering and sell the meats in-store, and bring the wagon to local festivals to drum up store and catering business.
During the 2012 NGA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Southern Pride was showcasing their mobile unit on the show floor, passing out rib samples, and demonstrating how easy it was to operate. When we got back home, we found the Ohio distributor and purchased one. Then after we purchased the smoker, we bought the mobile concession unit.
We attend about four to five festivals a year with the smoker and mobile concession wagon, which increases awareness of our in-store options and catering. Our presence at the festivals have boosted deli sales, since I always make sure to inform customers that the same food is available in the deli at the store. I also always have Smokehouse catering brochures available to pass out.
During Football season, we run weekend specials on ribs for $12 a rack. We also sell smoked whole and half chickens on weekends. We have developed three signature items. Our famous 12-hour smoked pulled pork, smoked mac and cheese, and smoked baked beans. We try to feature one or two items in our weekly ad. Some of the others items we do are smoked brisket, smoked wings, sausage, and smoked pork loin.
WHY IT WORKS
For Our Shoppers
Customers get freshly smoked meats. We park the mobile unit close to the entrance, so when customers see it running, they always ask what’s smoking today and will buy the freshly smoked meats.
Shoppers learn about new items.We do demonstrations on new items to create excitement.
For Our Store
Shopper interest in BBQ. Right now in the food industry, BBQ is trendy. People like the authentic taste of real BBQ, which we provide.
Increased deli sales.People who try our smoked meats and BBQ at festivals learn that they can buy the same food at our in-store deli. We get a lot of customers coming to the deli for items from the smoker.
Specialty catering. We book a lot of catering orders (the smoked pulled pork is our most popular item) from graduation season through the 4th of July. Sometimes we even bring the mobile wagon to catering events.
We post videos to our Instagram and Facebook account of the product in the smoker and show the pork pulled fresh out of the smoker.
We promote using locally sourced hickory in the smoker.
We have a designated location at the store with an electrical hookup for the mobile unit, so we can keep it parked and start serving food out of the wagon. Customers will be able to get a fresh pulled pork or brisket sandwich at the store.
When we first bought the smoker, I didn’t know anything about smoking meat. I did a lot of research online and watched a lot of BBQ Pitmasters on TLC.
If you’re interested in purchasing a smoker, I highly recommend Southern Pride Smokers and would be happy to answer any IGA retailer’s questions or offer suggestions. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.