BBQ for Breakfast. Why Not? – Angela Keaveny of ROWDYDOW bbQ

Angela Keaveny, Founder of ROWDYDOW bbQ

Angela Keaveny, the Founder of ROWDYDOW bbQ, grew her company’s revenue from $1.2 million in 2014 to $4.3 million in 2017, a 269% increase, and to around $2.1  million in 2018.  

ROWDYDOW bbQ is a provider of ready-to-eat, authentically smoked pulled pork and brisket BBQ.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Angela shares how she and her team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Winning preferred vendor status with Sodexo, a leading provider of integrated food service and facilities management. 
  • Leveraging the Sodexo “street cred” of their Sodexo to get on the food service chef’s menu at the US Air Force, Costco Mexico and Walmart.  
  • Strategically networking and hustling to build relationships with food service chefs.  
  • Streamlining their processing via a re-distribution model.  

Computer generated transcript - ROWDYDOW bbQ (transcribed by Sonix)

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Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Angela Keaveny, the Founder of ROWDYDOW bbQ, a provider of ready-to-eat, authentically smoked pulled pork and brisket BBQ. Welcome to the call Angela.

Angela Keaveny: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.

Malcolm Lui: Angela, you grew your company's revenue from $1.2 million in 2014 to $4.3 million in 2017, a 269% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $2.1 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

Angela Keaveny: I absolutely would love to. So as you said we are in the barbecue meat business authentically smoked pulled pork and brisket barbecue. We're very passionate about that. And that said the differentiator is just that we are in the barbecue meat business not so much the barbecue sauce or the barbecue rub. Of course I have the barbecue rub and barbecue sauce made per my dad's recipe from way back when when I asked him in 2007 but instead of instead of going that path of a barbecue sauce or a barbecue another barbecue rub I said this this whole thing for me is about my dad's barbecue. So I quickly found myself going into the barbecue meat business as you described as specializing in and with that said why are we different or how do we continue to be different. It's because we're very passionate about the whole barbecue experience and what it what it is. I've come to define the three barbecue troops and that's that people love to make barbecue they love to eat barbecue and they surely love to talk about doing one of the two and they're always having a good time. So you know to further that as to why we're different we're passionate about not just the product and it being delicious of course but about that celebration of barbecue and and within that is is just the name itself right. If you didn't know of course rounded out is a real word it means starting a commotion making a noise.

Angela Keaveny: So when you take the word in of itself that is I guess barbecue ish in of itself and then you of course couple that with our logo. If I think you of course you've checked it out and we've got a logo is a. We've got a picture of a gown on there and just a cool confident we'd like to say Southern gal who is representing rooted out starting a commotion making a noise in her own way. So just from a pure Of course story standpoint I asked my dad for the recipe but the name itself having the meaning that it does. And then of course the logo not being a you know I love all my barbecue friends. But another picture of a of a hog or a pig with lips and in flames pictures of flames. We've got something completely different that really brings us to where ever more brings us to where we are as a vision is concerned and that is to elevate barbecue into a lifestyle brand and to figure out how to bottle up all that wonderful delicious flavors and taste that you you think of when you think barbecue but also that those good times. Right. With families and friends and having a great time making barbecue and love and TLC that goes into making every batch your barbecue into one brand one go to trusted brand that evokes that emotion all in one. So that's why we're different.

Malcolm Lui: All right. And plastic. So Angela you grew your business from one point two million in 2014 to four point three million in 2017 a two hundred sixty nine percent increase. What were the three biggest drivers behind that growth.

Angela Keaveny: Well in 2014 everything changed. It was that seven year overnight success story if you will. And by that what I mean is that we earned the contract as the preferred supplier with XO which is a one of the top three contract food contract management companies in the world. And we landed the spot of being their preferred supplier for the barbecue protein meat category. So as you can imagine everything about just everything changed my confidence financial stability credibility street cred I call it in the marketplace and just just everything it gave me a chance to actually build a business build with real infrastructure hiring people etc.. So I owe so much near and dear to my heart. Of course the Sodexo company for believing in me and what we offered back then and in fact that that contract allowed us to expand our product line to include the pulled pork unsourced and the brisket products that you see us offering today. Fast forward through 14 into 2017 I mean you name it it was happening for us. We we were we became the preferred supplier for the Air Force. We landed a another opportunity to work with all the Costco's in Mexico in their food courts. So if you go into as you do here in the States you go to any Costco and their food court and you can get a hotdog or hamburger or you know what have you a piece of pizza. Of course. And down in Mexico they were very fond of this barbecue craze that they saw happening in the states and picked us picked us to be there pulled pork in that sweet dinner barbecue sauce provider.

Angela Keaveny: So that of course that's my I don't know that we talked about it so much but that was the impetus for starting the company was asking my father for that recipe and for what I grew up eating anyway we landed the again the preferred position with the the Air Force which I'm very passionate about feeding our troops better for them food. Costco Mexico we also began a program with Wal-Mart not branded rowdy Dow but in fact supplying them private label wise our pulled pork in that sweet vinegar barbecue sauce. As a one ingredient into a Cuban sandwich. So we were just restaurant chains picked us up Lifetime Fitness Regal Cinemas. So we we became that kind of sort of hot go to in the food service world barbecue protein provider and we just it was a dream come true right. We continued to build the company with infrastructure et cetera. So the drivers were of course finally making it with Sodexo being able to leverage that into street credibility or distribution model was was provided was able to provide easy and economical access to our products. And of course I was able to build a team to help me keep pushing the envelope. So there was a lot of fun. Oh and I should add we had a debut on HSN the Home Shopping Network. We were we starred and aired three times and had a sell out performance our very first time. So as a lot of fun.

Malcolm Lui: Awesome. Now that pulled pork at Costco Mexico right. Is that similar to the pulled pork I can get today at the Costco's in the United States.

Angela Keaveny: Great question. YES I NO OF COURSE YOU CAN GET pulled pork in the Costco's here in the States but we unfortunately have not a line been able to line ourselves on their menus quite yet their food courts. However because they don't actually offer that in their food courts they do have other barbecue pulled pork brisket providers under their own brands that are available in Costco or even under the Costco Kirkland brand. But that's from a retail standpoint. Again I was talking about the food courts. So yes you can get some but not ours

Malcolm Lui: I mean I here in Austin at the Costco's here. I can get a pulled pork risk. A thing is a pulled pork sandwich. I mean it's a brisket barbecue sandwich I forget which one but it's

Angela Keaveny: O in the food court

Malcolm Lui: In the food court. Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: Oh ok.

Malcolm Lui: So

Angela Keaveny: Yeah I did not realize that so. Yeah. Unfortunately that's not ours. But that's what we you know we sort of went we went around the around the corner if you will to get back here to the folks in the state so we are talking with them. But certainly we haven't. Like I said been aligned to any of their being featured in their stores quite yet.

Malcolm Lui: Right now to sell the Wal-Mart and Costco. I mean these there are pretty big customers of yours. How did you manage that and how do you ramp up your production and be able to satisfy those two as well as your Sodexo Sodexo contract. My singing right Sodexo.

Angela Keaveny: Yes Sodexo. Yes. Yes it's a little bit of a tricky word. Yes it is. So the Air Force the Wal-Mart six that are Costco Costco's of the world. I mean obviously those are big names and I often tell people what we've done really well is whale hunt if you will. We've we've got some really big names. And I I you know honestly it was just it was it was paying attention it was paying attention to conversations and people I met and doing follow ups and you know obviously again I will always contribute a tremendous amount of our initial marketing success. You know street credibility success with of course that. So after that it was just one person led me to another. So networking right. And doing the follow up that it took. And I think we were very fortunate to to be in the right time right place. I attended the National Restaurant Association Show back in two thousand and fifteen and I happened to meet. You know just stopped at a booth that happened to be the right fellow that wanted to hear more about my story and wanted to introduce me to someone else who happened to be very connected and with the Wal-Mart culinary team. And of course it took a year and a half to to land that opportunity but we did. And again I get back to the fundamentals of paying attention you know being a lover of learning making sure you're doing the networking and follow up and just being visible and present so that people can meet you. Right.

Malcolm Lui: Now can you share your process for networking and follow up. Following up with the people you meet. That's there's quite a bit of art to it to do it. Well it sounds like you you've nailed that.

Angela Keaveny: Well thank you. You know it is it is certainly I think an art and certainly I think something that can also be learned and some of it being just somewhat you know natural and I I'd say that you know without Takuto myself but I was sort of born with this natural love of connecting with people and that said I certainly do pay attention to some coaching tips all the while but for me I think it is just been to I don't know that when you see me in person you know the hands are waving and there's certainly some excitement about what I'm talking about and with rowdy Dallas course and then the passion and dream and that is contagious at times. So if you're short of not having that right does not everyone may be as fortunate as I am. I think just you know one thing that I think just being authentic is I know being authentic is certainly a big part of the success but also thinking about what's in it for the other person I taught I was taught that long ago and it stuck with me is is not so much what you know of course I'm looking for hope to achieve and accomplish from a conversation a connection. But really what is it that you can do to help the other person too. And if it's not necessarily a connection or something of the like that you can do for the other person just making sure that you value their opinion. So asking their advice is certainly going to be a big help for me when I know that I can't necessarily give something back in return but I certainly could appreciate and learn from their advice or suggestions and people people at the NSA really do love to help.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah definitely. Now how about the person you met at the National Restaurant show. Who then introduced you to the Wal-Mart team. How did that evolve because this is a total stranger. He never even knew before you went to the show and you walked by the booth and you struck up a conversation with this person

Angela Keaveny: Well I certainly have some stories. This whole journey has not been without some stories. So if you really want to know the truth I was only walking the the the show I didn't we did not have a booth we had a booth the next year. But Tom always made sure I went every year and walked around and just to see if there were some companies we could align with et cetera. So it really just came from that. And in particular I was a bit I had been served a little too much wine the night before. So I was very hungry and I saw this pizza booth. It was a gorgeous pizza Booth and I stopped there and certainly I was craving a piece of pizza or two. But you know truly we did have an opportunity to talk in which we did about you know of course our pulled pork barbecue and or biscuits to be on you know as a pizza topping. So anyway from just that natural desire to feed my you know a little bit of hangover situation I ended up being able to talk to their head of marketing who heard the story about what I was doing and she said My goodness you've got to meet the founder of our company.

Angela Keaveny: There's a lot of synergies because he worked really hard to build the company to where it is today. And you know then he said wait a minute you've got to talk to you know a chef that I've hired to be onboard with us. And what he does etc. so that it was it was it was the perfect example of networking something that was innocent. Oh my gosh I'm hungry and I need some pizza. But oh I have a real story for you at the same time that led to led to that connection and that relationship that still exists today. So you know I was I was happy I went right showed up I was accessible and visible and I made sure I made an introduction I did the follow up and I was very open. The other thing is to be very open to just seeing where things might lead

Malcolm Lui: Right now. How do you do the follow up

Angela Keaveny: How do I do it. Great question. The follow up is certainly. I've come to learn to love by text but I sort of feel it out to see if that's the relationship that's evolved but certainly an email for a quick and easy but I tell you I have met and written excuse me many many handwritten personal thank you notes they work. I swear by the I I used to do them when I was a financial advisor if you will stockbroker back in the day. And that was something that we were always taught that would differentiate us and I like to do it. It's very personal for me. And so it's time consuming. But if you can do it and maybe have a helper that you know even can help with little things like you write the note and they put the stamp and write the address the envelope. Little stuff like that just to help you know you produce more of them authentically from your own written hand and mindset because it is a great is a great to sort of secret tool to keep in mind to follow up but you know other than that it's it's it's an email it's a text. And because I do think people are ever more responding to text of course and of course a phone call whenever possible leaving a voicemail and of course what do we have today besides a traditional voicemail with a voice text. So putting that voice to the voice voiced who message I think is is it. I'm very cool and tactical where I did catch people's attention

Malcolm Lui: Right. And

Angela Keaveny: If

Malcolm Lui: When you do follow up with people what exactly are you following up the talk about to discuss like some people follow up Shanks interesting ideas and stories that they've seen that might be related to the person other people just follow up just to check in and what's your strategy behind your follow up to keep it useful for the other person.

Angela Keaveny: Yeah I I would. Great question again. And the three I would break it down into. Of course three. Right. The first is to of course acknowledge how you met and if there is any you know I always love to have fun. Right. So if there's anything funny about the connection point or just something meaningful significant what have you acknowledged that connection. Talk about how you know of course you're thankful and you know appreciate the opportunity to have make that make make the connection. But then of course you know what. Was there follow up in some sort of way. Was there an action item I should say and certainly address that and specifically state how you're going to do the follow up whether it's making a connection to sending a message or what have you. I think that's extremely important as well.

Malcolm Lui: Ok to not to step back a little bit bit and recap what the biggest drivers were that grew your business from one point two million in 2014 to four point three million debt of the 17. One was your contract with XO. Right. And then that this retread and then from that you're able to win additional contracts. The Air Force cost Mexico Wal-Mart restaurant chains Regal Cinema that sounds to me that a big driver of perhaps all of these deals you won was from your networking efforts or are there other ways other sources of generating these business opportunities for you

Angela Keaveny: Yeah I mean they. I would say. Well first I would. Just a minor correction they weren't. Besides Sodexo there's really no contracts that exist in food. Very rare. So it was a matter of really a shot right in the food service face the chef decides that he or she wants your product on a menu or wants to serve a particular dish. So that was that was something that I had to learn that there aren't really contracts like Sodexo out there. Whether or not we want it on a map. And you're not. And how I always best describe that to people is like think about your favorite restaurant. Do you want to go there all year long and have the same menu items to choose from. No. Right so they're changing their menus up as they should of course to appease and maximize the guest experience. But I had to learn that and from from that though to get back to your question you know yes it was networking. It was it wouldn't specifically though it was it was going. It was it was looking to have a relationship with the chefs and instead of not instead of necessarily the the Cisco sales rep or the U.S. food sales rep I I had to learn that too over time my first seven years arguably I spent so much time and focus on calling on the sales reps at these big distribution companies again Cisco's U.S. foods P.F. jeans etc is of the world and because in my mind was they like my product they're in sales they do go out and put food on their table and they need something new and exciting to talk about over time that business has changed for them whereas of course they carry massive amounts of products.

Angela Keaveny: So it was less of an opportunity for them to be a salesperson versus to just get the shelf the product that he or she needs when they need it. So I was actually taught by them to call directly on the account so I would say for me from a networking standpoint it was being smart about who I was networking with and realizing who the buyers were right versus trying to go through it alternate you know an indirect channel. And I think I did have a great relationship at the time with a company that was a redistribution company called Dot foods and I made it my business to find out who all of their top salespeople were that were calling on those restaurant chains their executive chefs and I knew from just a pure love numbers standpoint that if I had a handful of those folks that I networked with and stayed in contact with and I quote unquote marketed to so that they when they went out and did their their jobs of selling if I stay top of mind to them that I had a better chance of of of course leveraging their enthusiasm for our product that they are newly created in a very strategic way. So

Malcolm Lui: Ok

Angela Keaveny: I think that would be just using a strategic approach to being smart about who I was networking with.

Malcolm Lui: Ok. So number one driver strategic networking of building your contacts with the buyers the ultimate buyers. Were there other drivers of the growth besides the networking.

Angela Keaveny: Yeah I mean besides that it was it was to make it lots of phone calls. I mean I was just I was hustling I a self-proclaimed hustler in a good way just just lots of hours putting in the time and effort and just you know of course building the infrastructure behind it so that you did. You were on point for your follow up because of course the number one mistake we can all easily make is when you go to a show or we meet a bunch of people we networking we don't follow up. Sometimes it can be of course so overwhelming to do it all yourself. So having some support even if it's just a virtual assistant there's a lot of those folks that exist today for their own business to provide that as a service to get them from an inside sales perspective to help you and keep you organized. That's super helpful and I would certainly wish to share that and attribute that to part of the success of just you know being present and invisible. Right. I had to do that with a team. So

Malcolm Lui: Yep.

Angela Keaveny: I would certainly want to acknowledge that to

Malcolm Lui: Okay. And you did mention this. I think a key certain a key element for the success had to be a way of delivering on the Sodexo contracts as well as the the the the business that you're doing with the chefs and the businesses right. How did you arrange that. I know you're not cooking and cooking at your kitchen right.

Angela Keaveny: Where we are now we are not of course. So I always say to people b be thankful of this little the government entity called the USDA of course and the USDA exist of course to govern you know specifically the production of meat commercial production of meat in our country. And so back to the original you know whole birth of rowdy Dow was that I had the idea to ask my dad for the recipe for the barbecue and that sweet bit of your barbecue sauce that I grew up eating and I knew that I didn't want to just do the rub or it wasn't about just the rubber the sauce was about eating that that whole eating experience. So again I quickly quickly found myself in the meat business. And what I realized is that of course you cannot do that at your home right. You are absolutely correct. And that of course I attribute that to a lot in large part our success because I'm in an uncrowded marketplace if you will think about anytime you go to a grocery store there's there's rows upon rows of shelving that has barbecue sauces are rubs. But if you go to the fully prepared and smoked barbecue section you know the prepared meat section there's less than a handful usually ever available so making that decision of course meant a lot more complexities with the USDA et cetera. But it also put me in a less competitive marketplace somewhat and in what allowed me to grow was just staying on top of finding the right manufacturing partner to to produce the product for us per our recipes. So luckily. And sometimes twice just in time I I moved from one co Packer no again a a manufacturing facility that exists just to make product for other people per their specs just in time I was able to move from one co packing partner to the other because we were growing so fast that of course we we outgrew their capabilities.

Angela Keaveny: So yes finding the right manufacturing partners was key and at times just in time to keep up with the volume. I'm very happy to say that we're now looking to you know to have either buy in or build our own manufacturing facilities so that we can further align our supply chain. So that's exciting. And I would also attribute it to distribution. Again I mentioned this redistribution part. Dot foods that is not like a Sysco or US foods that we often see the trucks running around towns delivering food to. But instead these folks act as an aggregator and a between the supplier in the end accounts and the the Ciscos of the world so they consolidate all my orders and and give me only one order a week if you will and allow for those and allow for a streamlined streamlined economical delivery of product to the Ciscos who then turn around and bring it to the end accounts and I bring that up because specifically that they were that sales team and that executive chef team that I was very strategic and smart. I think in focusing on from a networking standpoint to go out and help us build brand awareness when it came to the restaurant chains around the country. So that was that was really cool and definitely a key success to our key to our success.

Malcolm Lui: Right. OK so the drivers in the recap would be 1 networking to go really strategically. Number two hustling and making lots of calls and a lot of follow up. The number three. Just finding the right manufacturers coal packers to help you create your product as well as having the right distributor. It sounds like you have one that you use quite a bit that thought food

Angela Keaveny: What dark foods and there are read distributor. So they again distribute to the Ciscos in the U.S. foods instead of me having to have you know 35 Sysco trucks coming up to our plant every week we just have one right because

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Angela Keaveny: They aggregate they redistribute. So I would say yes. The production capability and keeping up with that and the number four being the distribution the redistribution model that's key as to emphasize the redistribution model because it is pretty it is pretty unique for the food service industry. And then lastly I would just say faith and belief you know especially any fellow entrepreneurs out there listening and those who wish and aspire to take an idea and you know put it into action as an actual service product or service to sell you have faith and belief you know put the put the blinders on make sure you know you you're so disciplined to stay away from all that noise that exists out there and hold on hold on for five more minutes. That's. I swear to you that the faith and belief and the holding on just saying it to myself has carried me through so much over time.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Yeah. You never know. If you dig another 12 inches you might have gold behind

Angela Keaveny: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: That hunk of rock.

Angela Keaveny: Yeah that's for sure.

Malcolm Lui: So in 2018 you had some business challenges right your set your total sales fell from four point three million in 2017 to two point one million in 2018. What happened there.

Angela Keaveny: Well it's been it's been a pretty surreal. And I've got to say just a real nightmare of a of a of an experience. I truly wish oftentimes that pinch myself reversal me to say is this really happening right. It was I pinch myself when we got the Sodexo contract and I pinch myself. And in that did this really happen that it's it's almost fallen apart at the seams. But basically what happened is we had we had a we just had a bomb manufacturing partner. We obviously we just talked about how important that was to our success. Conversely it's exactly what has been the down fall for us having a bad partner. So it happens. It's life right. Just didn't wish for it to happen to us so quickly after just getting our feet you know cemented on some solid ground of course. But yeah we just. At the end of the day food safety and quality control became not something that was as regimented at their plant. You know I certainly had learned and was coachable and told that I needed to hire my own operations person to they couldn't work there day to day but certainly visit there often and and besides me someone who's very skilled in that space to take over that and so I thought of course I was doing the right things and even though you believe you're doing the right things things can still happen. So yes we had we had massive issues with tens of thousands of actually several hundreds of thousands of pounds of product from a quality control packaging and food safety standpoint and then at the end of the day specific to our Walmart project they ended up backing out of the program in the final hour even that Walmart was wonderful all and gave us a third chance. And then fast forward just not even three months later we had a corn product review for the renewal of this

Malcolm Lui: Are

Angela Keaveny: You know

Malcolm Lui: You still

Angela Keaveny: In my

Malcolm Lui: With

Angela Keaveny: Mind oh yes. Are there

Malcolm Lui: In

Angela Keaveny: Ok

Malcolm Lui: Brooklyn

Angela Keaveny: Sir.

Malcolm Lui: A bit. You

Angela Keaveny: Oh

Malcolm Lui: I kind of miss that a little bit. You talk about Wal-Mart a little bit and then you start talking about something and then the line cut out can you maybe

Angela Keaveny: Oh shoot. Yes. Sorry.

Malcolm Lui: Go back to No no trouble

Angela Keaveny: Yeah absolutely. With Wal-Mart we in fact had overall we had tens of. We actually ended up having a few hundred thousand pounds worth of product that was had product quality packaging issues and then we also had food safety issues that came about with Wal-Mart over Wal-Mart was wonderful and fantastic to us gave us the third chance. And unfortunately this manufacturing partner decided that he was going to back out of the program in the last minute and the last hour and it just we lost that business with them and not only not even I should say three months later we had a contract review which of course included the product review with Sodexo and it was unfortunately determined that the quality of our product in relation to are in comparison to another brand that they were evaluating was not preferred any longer so we in what seemed like five minutes of time when it takes you twelve 12 years to build the company to what it was just really went went away like that. So we did lose the preferred status with Sodexo. We'd still have a portion of business with them. So of course we're thankful for that but it wasn't what it was so as I said we're in rebuild stage at this time not giving up still having faith and hope and holding on for five more minutes as we just talked about and you know lesson learned or at least for me near and dear to my heart and very experientially I can speak with what's true with true confidence that for us the best thing for us to do is to have to control our own supply chain. So in fact that is part of what our mission is and priorities for this year going in 2019 and into 20 is to have control over that

Malcolm Lui: Yep. So

Angela Keaveny: Not

Malcolm Lui: There's

Angela Keaveny: Only

Malcolm Lui: This.

Angela Keaveny: Just the

Malcolm Lui: So this same manufacturer that that caused problems with your Wal-Mart opportunity. They are also the same one that was that was supplying to said XO.

Angela Keaveny: Correct. Yeah they

Malcolm Lui: Ok

Angela Keaveny: Were yes they were our own least they were our sole supplier.

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Angela Keaveny: And you know of course there were conversations of oh you should have had a backup supplier. You know we were and we were still a bit too small to have a backup. When you when you're talking about the commercial production game but of course that was part of the plan.

Malcolm Lui: He

Angela Keaveny: We just needed Wal-Mart to stay on board and ideally continue to expand. So you know we just we know that a second backup is of course a great risk management strategy to take on it's still part of our plan moving forward as soon as we're able to do it. So that's not the question I think that you know. But yeah that's still part of the plan and certainly that what we'll look to do because I guess the most important point is is that in what I was often said to is what you can just go get anybody any manufacturer. Well don't forget I stand behind what Randy now is and that's authentically smoke pulled pork and brisket any barbecue meats and you know again rowdy out means starting a commotion making a noise. So we're making a noise we're making a commotion in the especially the food service space for now. Can't wait to launch into retail but we're making a noise because we're we're not doing what everyone else is doing. We're not using these really really big industrial steam smokers is what it boils down to. We're using the authentically authentic traditional smokers that use real wood logs real fire which create real smoke. So unfortunately those companies that produce those smokers are not interested in the big big industrial five ten thousand pound smokers at a time. So you know but that's OK. We're going to stand behind that. What that means to us is that we just need a little bit more real estate to make the same volume of product but that allows us to keep true to our story true to small batch true to that TLC and what the love of barbecue is really all about. So

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: I'm OK with it.

Malcolm Lui: You know if someone asked if I want to steam smoke pulled pork. That doesn't sound really appealing to me.

Angela Keaveny: And that's what it is my friend. I mean that's again now we're talking food service space where you've got these chefs who are managing these large you know corporate cafeterias college campuses you know hotels airports you know so we're helping them right now that's where we've been focused on just with our natural path to fall into that sales channel. And so they need to oftentimes feed a lot of people fast. Right. So cost is a big driver. But I agree with you even still that the tide is turning right. And even though chefs are saying no more I don't want this kind of stuff to serve with my name on it etc.. So smaller suppliers like us are starting to emerge and to give them those options of course on the retail side you know eating at your home what's on the grocery store shelves what you buy online. I never want you to have to settle for that. So that's why we're excited to start meaningful relaunch and bring rounded out into the direct to consumer to straight to your doorstep grocery cart sort of a space here

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Angela Keaveny: In 2019 as a as a strategic plan as well

Malcolm Lui: Often in fact that actually is a nice segway to my next question. What are your objectives your plans for 2019 and what challenges do you see you need to overcome to achieve those objectives.

Angela Keaveny: Well you know if you didn't hear me sort of scream it loud enough. Control of our own supply chain. So that's first and foremost on our docket but yes we. We absolutely want to finally launch into meaningfully planned for and launch into retail. And so we're super focused on that. Excited about it. We also have some product expansion that we're looking to do. You know in backing into that those three is of course control of the supply chain. Either buying the client plant excuse me that we're currently working with or you know looking to build our own is one. Number two is going into the retail space and we're really excited because if you think about it there what we wish for you to make barbecue at home. If you love to make it you have the time. Again we celebrate all things barbecue. We just we just do right. That's how I grew up. But short of that we we aspire to bring that that's sort of the love of barbecue to that that everyday grocery store that you that you frequent. Right. Add some excitement to that prepackaged grocery store aisle or even maybe in the frozen food section put in some barbecue in there and clearly smoke that you just heat up ready to eat like you said and make any breakfast lunch or dinner meal for yourself and family.

Angela Keaveny: So we're we're looking to do that in the grocery store aisle and also direct delivery to your doorstep. Of course with the craze and the trend of people looking to buy online ever more building up our own Web site so focused on doing just that whether it's on our own Web site Randy Dolby barbecue dot com or building an Amazon store or we're in discussions right now to have a store front built there so that of course will be exciting. And then finally as a really major priority for the year is to launch. Are you ready for it as our smoked pulled pork and sweet vinegar barbecue sauce on a king's Hawaiian slide or Bon as a two pack microwave label so all you have to do is grab that sandwich pack throw it in the microwave heat it up and eat it. Whether you're on the go or kids meals a quick snack etc. We're we're just thrilled. So the product expansion specific to bringing barbecue sandwiches ready to eat heat and eat to again your grocery store shelf or doorstep is is what we're totally doing cartwheels over year about for 2019.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah that last product sounds awesome.

Angela Keaveny: It is awesome. It is so delicious in your mouth. And I tell you if you just get some coleslaw on the side and put a dollop of that on there it is just wonderful the deliciousness in your mouth.

Malcolm Lui: You know what I found sometimes I haven't really researched the science behind this and I'm not sure because I'm a bit geeky about this sort of thing. But why is it that sometimes when I microwave breads and buns it gets really tough right. You must found out you must have encountered I found a solution but because no one wants tough bread while you eat there pulled pork

Angela Keaveny: No they sure don't. That's a great question. You know it's it's it's it's it really is a it's the science behind how much you warm it up or don't warm it up. It's finding the right bread you know of course we love King's Hawaiian it just tastes so wonderful with that. That's sweet vinegar barbecue sauce and that smoky flavor. Of course many things taste great with the king's Hawaiian bread but in particular it's my super favorite and it has been for years. So finding the right bread is key. And in fact we had to have many discussions with them about making sure that the product wasn't going to need the meat product wasn't going to need to be heated up so much so that it ruined the experience of the bread. And then lastly is the packaging just making sure that you know it is viable microwave packaged in a microwave in a viable microwave microwave viable package I should say. So just make having all those elements come together from a research and development standpoint to have something that's that's a great eating experience.

Malcolm Lui: How

Angela Keaveny: So

Malcolm Lui: Many how many iterations did you go through before you guys finally said Yeah we got it

Angela Keaveny: We'll definitely be working on this thing for about a year. So that's that. But I've had the idea for many years. It's just was getting on King's Hawaiians radar screen which was the tough thing.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah we have bread it all has to come together right one

Angela Keaveny: And has

Malcolm Lui: One bad element kind of messes up the whole thing

Angela Keaveny: It does and you know just doing a quick deep dive into another Production Co packing situation. I also I I so I've had the idea for at least three years and in the last year and a half it's taken me to really bring it together talk with King's Hawaiian but to find the right co Packer I've worked on this easily I've gone through three different coal packers to find the right one that would then be come our sandwich assembler if you will and who has the capability to freeze it. Believe it or not there's not a lot of other meat in the US that have the equipment that freezes the the sandwiches as they need to be done. So anyway now we're in discussions about what the packaging looks like and all that good stuff. So that's a work in progress but I would say for you make sure you just don't heat up the bun too much even if you have to take off the top of the bottom of the bun. I know White Castle does that as part of their instructions. Just so you know you don't do just that make the bread too hard. So

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Angela Keaveny: That's my tip of the day for you.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I get it. So you make a bunch of plans and objectives for two thousand ninety controlling your supply chain either by buying your own plant or building your own going into the retail space. Talk about new products and you give a little bit more details about that getting on the supermarket shelves directly to every doorstep building out your own website and also building on it. Amazon store front launching your work on teens online now. Are they particular challenges that you have. I know you talked about the challenge of finding the code Packer to do the sandwich. How about the challenges in regard to the other things that you're talking about directed direct delivery to door building out your website. Getting into the supermarket and getting onto the shelves. What particular challenges is there do you need to figure out and overcome.

Angela Keaveny: Yeah. Besides the CO backing for the sandwich. Great point there is is really at the end of the day is just the the the financials to pull it all together. Again we're in a bit of a rebuild stage so in food service you know of course we want to keep that business going. It's time for us to have someone besides me to just a small team out there pounding the pavement. So the finances to the financials to hire a few folks for human cap from a human capital standpoint and then also to excuse me get the launch of of the products off you know the design and what does that look like and all that and all those things take some upfront moneys. And then of course you know ultimately we want that control of the supply chain. So the funds to to actually purchase the plant whether it's investors or traditional debt capital is what we're looking at. So that's that's our priority right now of of getting that secured in fact that was the call I was on before. Excuse me we had this call. So

Malcolm Lui: Ok. Now how about

Angela Keaveny: It's all

Malcolm Lui: Your.

Angela Keaveny: Happened in real time.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. How is he. Hey you're here on the phone on the go all the time. You're hustling.

Angela Keaveny: Always be hustling. That's right.

Malcolm Lui: Always be hustling us. That's a good a good model here. And what about in terms of building out your own Web site. What's the plan that you're planning it's going at your own e-commerce store on your Web site and selling your product that way.

Angela Keaveny: Yeah well if you check out our Web site right now you can see we have it's certainly more geared towards food service because again that's just the space that B2B space we've been in for all these years. We do have the barbecue shop as one of the pages that you know page headers that you can click on and you can buy today. Right. The two pounds of smoke pulled pork and the sweet vinegar barbecue sauce and then also one of our. New products is that the smoked chopped brisket. So excited about that but it is it is that it is available via our Web site arguably our Web site needs a whole new refresh when it comes to just the look in the field to to start making more room right for the the direct to consumer space that we want to play in now. So we're looking to have that re revamped and also work with a company that builds those online Amazon stores that we mentioned earlier. So we want to collaborate with them on that. And I tell you we from a how are we going to do this standpoint. We're really focused on looking at two social media channels which of course being Instagram because people love food on Instagram and you know telling my story that entrepreneurial journey and things like that sure just experiences what we found to be desired to look at and follow and all of that. But also Pinterest we're looking to actually build some presence on Pinterest too because of the element of what barbecue is. Right. It's community and you can you can you can make that come alive and pictures which of course Pinterest is all about. So to evoke that emotion because again we're we're really focused on and passion about building that lifestyle brand elevating barbecue out of the backyard if you will. So that's what we're looking to do and put money towards as well from a marketing standpoint.

Malcolm Lui: Got it. No not actually you said a couple of things kind of reminded me how they're going to be great answers for my next question for you. So they are longer freeway you have a billboard for write it out barbecue. What would be your message there on that billboard as you get up to potential messages one for the food service customers of yours another one for the consumers of yours. And keep in mind that people only have six seconds to read a billboard before they drive by. So it can't be a super long message.

Angela Keaveny: I love it. I love it's such an awesome question. I don't mean to you know steal from past promotions but it would be you know for the for all the families out there would be barbecue an awesome picture of someone even some barbecue family standing and it would say you know barbecue food fun to eat or you know barbecue. It's what's for dinner tonight. So really building a campaign around getting families to think about of course going out and having that experience at their favorite barbecue restaurant. But it's just simply another great idea for breakfast lunch or dinner for the family setting. So yeah I think barbecue. What's for dinner. It's what's for dinner tonight.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Or barbecue for breakfast.

Angela Keaveny: Barbecue

Malcolm Lui: Why not.

Angela Keaveny: From breakfast. Exactly.

Malcolm Lui: Why

Angela Keaveny: We

Malcolm Lui: Not.

Angela Keaveny: Also have. Why not. There you go. Barbecue. We do BLT a BLT breakfast lunch or dinner.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Angela Keaveny: We can have some real fun with that for sure.

Malcolm Lui: Definitely. I mean who doesn't like barbecue.

Angela Keaveny: Who

Malcolm Lui: I

Angela Keaveny: Doesn't

Malcolm Lui: Don't think

Angela Keaveny: Like barbecue.

Malcolm Lui: I don't think I've met anyone who doesn't like barbecue. Now

Angela Keaveny: Again

Malcolm Lui: That I think

Angela Keaveny: It's

Malcolm Lui: About

Angela Keaveny: Barbecues

Malcolm Lui: It

Angela Keaveny: It's food fun to eat. So

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: You love the barbecue truth you love to

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: Make it you love to eat it or you love to talk about it.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. You. You know what to say. If you love barbecue you're my friend. I guess if you don't like barbecue I wanna hang out with you. Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: I love it. There you go.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Last questions for you. Who are your ideal food service partners and your ideal consumers and what's the best way for them to contact your team for the former or to buy your product today. If the latter

Angela Keaveny: Well thanks for that question of course. You know in the food service space of the we always say we want to work with the everyday chef responsible for the everyday menus who's looking to bring some authentic authenticity back to the barbecue that they may or may not have been serving or to think of barbecue in the first place. Of course they can talk with their their distributor Cisco's the US Foods or we'd love for them just to go on our Web site and contest contact us directly. We have a contact form ready for them to fill out. We have some cool you know just tidbits on that on the Web site an e-book that we created. Again just a two to shop as a partner not just hate by some of my barbecue. So that's certainly what I would say on the Foodservice side. And then as far as the consumer side is is I mean we're here. Barbecue on our barbecue shop on our Web site. But you know we're common. So just hang tight. Right. Like what you see now is nothing close to what you're going to see. So stay tuned be on the lookout is what I would say and your you know your favorite grocery store shelf or you know online but or you know shopping on Amazon. But for now I guess I'd just come to our Web site. We have a place for you to order to inquire what have you. You can even text us. We encourage it like I said in the beginning of. Way to contact folks. Quick and easy because we're also busy today. We're very open to that too. So

Malcolm Lui: Can you share your website. Name your website URL

Angela Keaveny: Yeah absolutely it's rowdy Dow Bebe Q Dot Com so R O W D and David y another D and David O W and then B isn't boy B's and boy Q Dot Com and again don't forget Randy Dale's a real word I mean starting a commotion making a noise that's exactly what we're doing for the barbecue love and world barbecue love and families out there and you're gonna notice a big Q wherever you see Randy now written and of course that big Q is meant to be starting a commotion doing something different and it stands for a big barbecue flavor

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: So there you go

Malcolm Lui: I am really keen on trying out your dad's recipe. Sweet vinegar it sounds really good.

Angela Keaveny: It's it's just delicious sweet vinegar barbecue sauce as still to this day I've never found any even mom and pop sort of barbecue joint or you know grocery store shelves where it's just a straight sweet vinegar barbecue sauce anything I've ever seen has elements of that but also adds that tomato based to it and that's

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: Just not what we do I just

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: I didn't even have barbecue red barbecue sauce until I was in my 20s

Malcolm Lui: So what the heck is that.

Angela Keaveny: I did I like I don't I don't know what this is. So anyway

Malcolm Lui: Yeah.

Angela Keaveny: Now a lover of all barbecue of course.

Malcolm Lui: Of course. And yet it's been awesome having you on my show today. I really enjoyed hearing about how you grew your business.

Angela Keaveny: Thank you so much this is really really cool. I love what you're doing and your approach to sharing other entrepreneur stories as you continue to build your your company and your entrepreneurial stories. So thank you for having the interest in doing this and of course the capabilities to do all that cool editing and sound checks and all that fun stuff.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah it comes it comes with the territory.

Angela Keaveny: There you go.

Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Angela Keaveny, the Founder of ROWDYDOW bbQ, about her company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit

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