Growing up around team sports there was always something that the coach said… yeah…I know, you can hear them now, “There is no I in Team". However, being in the catering and seasoning business, we do have an “I". It stands for "Ingredient", and the secret ingredient in everything we do is our people, and it takes the right people to have a great team. My pride would love to say that it was all me, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While I tend to get most of the praise, it’s our people that make it all happen, and I know I don’t tell them enough how much they mean to me, or how much impact they are having around the world. They have done such an incredible job and we tend to be always running 100 mph. As I’ve mentioned previously, our mission is to bring families and friends around the table to share flavorful meals together. That’s where I believe the best conversations take place. We can laugh, cry, put aside conflicts, share recipes, and our stories. That all starts around our table, so I thought I would take this post to introduce the team to you. Without them there isn’t a story to tell.
The secret ingredient in everything we do is our people, and it takes the right people to have a great team.
We have a couple key ingredients that really help all the others work together in harmony. One of those main ingredients is the “glue”. Karen Parker is one of those ingredients that is super rare, and you constantly thank God that He blessed the team with them. She handles Accounting, the HR piece, all the catering requests, manages the Pick, Pack & Ship department and still has time for everything else I throw at her. Man…after writing out everything that she does, it might be time to get her some help!
Next up is the Marketing department led by Jeremy Sloan. Jeremy joined the team 2 months before Covid hit (probably going to take multiple posts to talk through that season). Jeremy’s timing ended up being such a blessing. He was able to come in, redesign the website, firm up our message, organize our email database, and find a rhythm to communicate with the database all prior to the world being shut down. His team consists of Jason, Kyle & Corey. Jason Gazaway handles all the SEO, website management, content, and a ton of other things that I pretend to understand. Kyle Schroeder handles all our Social Media accounts, which takes a ton of time to make sure we are actively posting and engaging with our customers. Corey Wood handles our video content and recipes. Recipes are key to what we do. We want everyone to know the best ways to use our products, and he comes up with new ideas and recipes for everyone to follow.
What most people don’t realize is that we are primarily a manufacturing company. Food is always the easiest and coolest thing to capture on video or pictures, so everyone assumes we are just a catering business or restaurant. However, we produce all the seasonings and sauces that we sell, as well as co-pack for several other companies. That is where our token superhero comes into play. Thor Grenier (yep…we have a Thor…I know you are jealous!) oversees our operations team which consists of several different components. We’ve got the sauce department led by Pete Nakelski. Working alongside him is Kenny & Sandy. Then Jose runs the automated seasoning bottle line with the help of Paul & Corey. April, Lena & Ashley are on the manual line and help to fill smaller orders along with our sample packs and 2 lb bags. However, none of those bottles are going to get filled if someone isn’t there to mix all the ingredients. Drew Peavy is in charge of mixing together all the seasoning blends which consists of a ton of different ingredients. Caleb Hopkins oversees the warehouse. His job is to make sure all the raw ingredients are stocked and in the correct place, as well as keeping all the finished inventory in line. Once everything is produced and in place, Emma & Brittany write all the thank you cards and process all the online orders. With so many moving parts in the shop we have a lot that can break or need repair. Chuck Phillipi is the one who keeps everything in working order and manages to still find time to fix everything I tend to break.
We still have two more important pieces of the team which are Sales & Catering. Our sales team consists of Brandon Haney and Paul Wade. Brandon was the third person to officially join the team about 7 years ago and he has worked super hard to build up our wholesale business. He has been responsible for getting products to all the Butcher shops, small grocery, and the hardware stores that y’all shop at every week. Paul joined the team about a year ago and is working to get products into some larger stores. He was able to get us into Academy Sports earlier this year which was a huge win for Lane’s! Rebecca Williams works with Paul & Brandon to make sure the sales orders are processed correctly and she also handles all the receivables. Plus, she is the first smiling face you see when you walk into our Winder shop.
We can’t forget about the BBQ piece of the business. Catering is where it all started and still holds a huge part of our hearts. It is how we stay connected with the community. We absolutely love seeing the smiles when we make deliveries and every Friday when we serve biscuits. (Biscuit Friday…that deserves a whole post to itself. Brian Turner, Steven Fruitticher & Damyn Swanepoel stay crazy busy prepping and smoking all the mouthwatering BBQ & sides that y’all have come to love and enjoy! I’m super excited to see what the future holds for the catering team as they are really hitting their stride.
You know I had to save the best for last. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t mention the person who has had the most positive impact on this business. That would be my wife, Stacey. She has been my rock and encourager through some really tough times while also being my biggest cheerleader when things seem to be clicking on all cylinders. Lane’s BBQ would not even be close to what it is today without all of her love, support, patience, and tons of grace. Running a small business is tough and every day is filled with a new set of challenges. I’m so blessed that I get to take on every day with this unbelievable team!