“I love serving others.”
This quote from Kristen Bailey, CEO of Sweets & Meats BBQ and recent selection as Cambro’s Featured Foodservice Business of the Week, perfectly sums up the attitudes of the vast majority of foodservice entrepreneurs when asked: “What do you love about your business?”
Foodservice will always be about serving and sharing a passion with as many people as possible and if you’re in the Cincinnati area, you will certainly be hearing more from Sweets & Meats BBQ.
The “origin story” of small businesses usually involves personal interest and family support and Kristen’s story is no different.
“We used to have 50-60 friends and family members at our cookouts each weekend and so many of them told us we should open a restaurant. One day we started believing we could. We started small and set up shop in the parking lot of our neighborhood Creamy Whip, before landing a commissary. Last year we did a ton of events and landed our catering license. Our focus has been full service and drop off catering, in addition to events where we were a tent set up. We invested in a custom trailer this past winter and launched our new BBQ Food Truck this spring.”
Kristen also had support from MORTAR Cincinnati, a business accelerator designed to help budding entrepreneurs, in the form of “tools, resources, and confidence to pursue our dream of owning a food truck.”
And as any entrepreneur knows, there are always challenges and for Sweets & Meats, the biggest challenge they have had to overcome so far is equipment.
“Last year we did several food truck rallies and we were the only tent set up. We were often rejected from events, sometimes at the last minute, because we had a tent versus a food truck. We had to deal with all the labor, inclement weather, and the additional time it took to set up and break down at events. We had to overcome a lot being the small guy, but we did it anyway because we believed in our product and had to start somewhere. We’ve bootstrapped the entire time. Luckily, we were able to invest in a brand new custom food trailer in time for the season this year. It launched March 2, 2016. We are working to get it wrapped now. Cambro has been our saving grace to ensure our food maintained temp and to be able to transport everything. We own 13 boxes now.”
And our great passion is seeing our products helping businesses like Sweets & Meats BBQ succeed:
“We own 9 boxes fitting 6 hotel pans and 4 individual cambros. One holds a 6-inch hotel pan and 3 hold 4-inch pans. We have 1 insert to keep food cold and some storage containers for dry goods.”
We wish Kristen and the entire Sweets & Meats BBQ team continued success! As the Cambro Foodservice Business of the Week selection, Kristen will receive a storage prize pack.