Kelly and Thaddeus Perry have been pursuing a building purchase to manufacture their food products for several years.
Yesterday, they received final state approval for a manufacture license to make fudge and a retail license for the new building store front in Bronson. They will be having a soft opening of the business this weekend, following Bronson Day, a community event in this small town in western Bourbon County.
“We received our manufacture license for our fudge and our retail license for the front portion of the country store…(and) we will have a open house on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We are planning for a grand opening on July 30.”
The store open house will have limited items this Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. and Monday 5-9 p.m.
History of the Business
The Perry’s started making pork rinds at the Hume Fair in 2017 and discovered the demand and profit, Kelly said. “So it made sense to push forward. However, because pork rinds are technically a meat product we cannot wholesale or go on any store shelf until we physically built a USDA inspected meat processing facility. Although we do not slaughter any animals, we still have to follow all safety and federal rules regarding meat so we decided to put every penny into building a facility.”
During the COVID 19 Pandemic, the Perry’s discovered something.
“As we came closer to that reality, we realized, through the pandemic, what a food desert we really have on the western side of the county and felt we could change this! We decided to not only build a pork rind meat production plant but a retail store front for our biggest supporters, our community!”
The store will be open following the vendors leaving town on Saturday.
“Once the Bronson Day vendors close at 3 p.m., we will then open our store,” Kelly said. “We will not be fully stocked, but we will have bags of ice, coffee, tea, lemonade, fountain soda, canned soda, ready-to-eat foods and snacks foods.”
“We should have all of our items available for sale for our grand opening celebration on July 30,” she said.
Perry’s Pork Rinds & Country Store on Hwy. 54 which is also known as792 Pine Street in Bronson.
Contact info: the store phone 620.224-2052 or email [email protected]
Financing Their New Business
The Perry’s saved money for the down payment for their business and borrowed the rest from Iola Community National Bank.
“They worked with us and believed in our business plan from the beginning,” she said.” We also used another loan through the Ft. Scott Chamber of Commerce E-Community loan to help us finish the project and have enough capital to fill the store front upon opening. Out of the second loan we were granted $9,000 in loan forgiveness through the Patterson Family Foundation (through the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team).
They currently have six employees and anticipate substantial growth, she said. They will soon go from two production days to five and offer wholesale pork rinds and fudge nationwide.
On the Horizon
“We will not be stopping with just the store front,” she said. “We are already working on phase two for our property, which is a full hook up RV park for travelers. This will utilize the large property we have as well as bring revenue to the city with utilities.”