A Chat With Matt!

The Ranch & Table

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A Chat With Matt!

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All right. Welcome. This is Lee wells with the ranch and table podcast. And today I have a very special guest with me all the way from middle America, from Tennessee, my brother, Matt is in with us and glad to have you here, man. Thanks.

Thanks. I'm glad to be here.

We just got through Thanksgiving and then you're on your way to a.

Deer hunt down in West Texas, I guess. Right. Right. And so we're fitting this in while you're here and looking forward to a chat and glad to spend a couple of days with you. So first of all I'll just tell you a little bit about Matt he is my younger brother and has I'll let him tell you what he does for a living.

And then we're going to talk business here for a little bit. I think we may end up talking who knows what, but we'll try to talk some business. So why don't you tell what you do and then we'll get into, get into some of

that. Yeah, no problem. So I live In Paris, Tennessee, I been there for going on nine years and I work for a gentleman by the name of BJ Knott and which he is the contractor for all the Little Debbie area in West Tennessee, mainly, and I've been with him a little over nine, almost nine years and he has me supervise all his, all the routes that he has in that area.

And We've actually since then grown to a side business that's now, that we've, that we've now called Superior Snacks, Superior Snacks. And which is a lot of your specialty type items that, that different stores can't get that allow us to expand our business even further. And we've even got a couple more ideas that we're looking at in the near future to be able to expand it even more.

Okay, it's going, it's going good right

now. That's great. So nine years. For those that don't know, we were in business together for a while back years ago. And then 9 11 happened. The economy crashed tanks. Yeah, and then we ended up shutting that down and going our separate ways business wise but Always been close always had a great relationship always talk, you know several times a week sometimes depending on how busy we are what season it is, but We you living out there for nine years.

It's it's Not always been the easiest, but we're always happy to get together and, and spend time together. So, I'm glad you're around for a few days and hope you get a, hope you get a big buck.

Me too. It's, it's definitely, it's definitely an exciting trip that we get to go to every other year out in West Texas with my father in law.

Yeah. And it's a lot of fun.

So the last time you went, since we're going to talk deer hunting for a minute. Sure. Last time you went tell us about the The book you got

so the last time I went was so basically we had to go every other year That's how it's set up. And so every, every time we go, we always have a, you know, a manly conversation of who's going to get the biggest bug and all that.

And, and this pastime you know, I was on my last day of the hunt and we were watching that morning and one came out and my guide said He's looking pretty good. So I was like, well, we'll see. I don't want to get too anxious about it, because you're already anxious enough to pull the trigger.

And sure enough, he comes out of the woods and comes up, and he knew how big a bucket was, but he didn't want to get my hopes up and me even more anxious. So he said, yeah, that's a shooter, I'd take it. So I, I pulled the trigger and then when we got down there, he was even, he's like, well, I knew it was big, but I didn't know it was this big.

Yeah. What was it? It was, well, he thought it was just a normal eight point buck. And we got down there and it had a little, a little extra claw on one of the, on one of the side horns and, and it and ended up making it a nine point. Okay. And was as much, it's been, it's the biggest one I've had yet.

Yeah. And so now my father in law and I have a running joke now of who's going to have shoot the bigger buck this year. So. We're hoping, we're hoping, I don't know the, I don't know the weight of the deer because honestly at that point, yeah, you know, we're more worried about the, you know, the total inches of the, of the span of the, of the, of the rack and everything.

So, you

know, what, a score or anything. I mean, I don't know anything about that.

I don't wanna get too far out. I think one, I think we were like 1 48 or something like that. 1 38. 1 48. Okay. Which is a pretty good size. Mm-Hmm. For that area. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Especially

area.

Well, you're not that area. You're not in Colorado or you're not in the mountains somewhere.

You're out on what West Texas you got. Yeah. That's a good one for out there. That's, that's really good. It's really good. Hopefully you get a bigger one this time. And. I hope so. It'd be be nice to see the pictures come through and one of these days, I don't know, I might even get to go. I, I mean, I don't know.

Maybe if I do a podcast now, maybe in two years, I get to go deer hunting. I don't, I don't know how that works. Well, maybe,

we'll, maybe we can figure something out. Yeah, for sure. That's, that's a very political answer for sure. Well, I'm not in control of that decision. No, I know You're not there again, politically correct.

I know you're not. But if I was, I would definitely figure something

out. I know, I know that. Well, I, I've wanted to talk business for a little bit, primary business podcast. And I just want to set this up by saying I've been very proud of, of you and BJ and what y'all have done over the last couple of years.

Like you were mentioning starting out, you've had the. The little Debbie routes for several years and you ran that and managed that all the drivers, the delivery guys I guess those are all contractors that work for you.

They're all subcontractors of BJ's business. Okay. So basically has real quick how it's set up.

So with some vendors, you can actually own the routes with little Debbie. Nobody owns the routes. He's just the main distributor for them. And then he subbed,

they work for him, right? So you have to work with people that you can find that we'll go do the job, do it right. And there's a lot to that. We don't have time to get into stales and what you can waste and how much, I mean, there's a lot to all that, but what's really been cool.

To me is how you have taken that existing route and you've taken those existing customers that you know, and they respect you and they have a relationship with you. And then you say, we want to do something else. And I guess little Debbie's cool with that, right? As long as you take care of their business.

And as

long

as we do, as, as far as I know, as long as we don't sell anything in, in competition, competition,

direct competition. Yeah. So you can sell peanuts and it wouldn't interfere with snack cakes, right? You can sell licorice and it won't interfere. So whatever you want to do. So what's been cool though, is you had these existing routes and these existing customers and relationships, and then you find these other products that don't.

Compete with little Debbie and say, while we're there. Can we stock these items and then those are set up on a whole different type of pay structure, right? Right. Like cookies and various things. And so tell me about that. Tell me how, how y'all structured that because you've done a lot of sales for him, but yet now you're kind of partners.

With him

that right? I am, I am. So with this being the, a separate business entity, we, we kind of went into it, you know, being the, being the friends that we are, having the friendship and trust that we have for each other. Mm-Hmm. We've kind of started it out as a more of a partnership type thing. And I mean, he trusts me with his business.

I trust him with, with sure. With business. Right. So it, it works really well. And so. going into these customers and talking to these existing customers, it's, it's really easy from the years of relationships that we've had to go in and say, Hey, this is our, this is our business plan. This is what we'd like to do.

What do you think? And with the respect and the, the proven years of existence, most times. They're like, sure, no problem, whatever

you want. So you go into a business, say I don't know, say pretzels you go into a pretzel business and say, we would like to be able to Sell your product, stock your product, buy it from you, put it in the stores.

We would like to use our existing relationship with these customers to extend your product out. And then they have to give you permission. Sometimes you have to buy those rights or whatever. Right. And it's not just. You go buy some stuff at Sam's and we're talking direct from the factory types of job type of relationship.

And then once you get the, okay, to do that in those territories, then you're free to go to your existing customers and say, Hey, I don't just do this. We can also do this and we can also do this. And then those things are, are even more valuable kind of to you as a partner in there, because you have a little more at stake and you get To make a little bit more money with doing that.

So I think that's been really cool to see you guys take what you had and then multiply it and develop it into something else altogether. Right. Really cool. And I guess that's working well and y'all are doing well with all the side items that y'all are doing. It's,

it's growing and it seems to grow every day because with, with my.

my personality, his personality, real similar. We're always, we're always looking for that next item that a store doesn't have, which we also encourage our existing customers. Hey, if there's something that you don't have in your store that you're looking for or that you would like to have let us know and we will, we will do our, our best to research that whether it goes, whether it means go to a food show or, or just plain old internet research, whatever.

That's worked out really good. We've actually, actually we've got two items right now in the process that we're looking at for an existing store chain that's called us up and said, Hey, we can't get this. We got a lot of customer. It's a ready market. It's already, you can bring it in, right? And say, Hey, we can't find this.

We got a lot of people asking for it. What can you do? And so that's time to go to work. Let's find this product and then add it to our. Our side business, we're going to be

there on Tuesdays and Thursdays anyways, we might as well bring them right. This box as well. Yep. So, so real quick, tell us a little Debbie.

We know what little Debbie is, especially this time of year. It's almost Christmas, Christmas trees everywhere. But besides little Debbie snack cakes go down the list just real quick. So listeners know kind of what other items we're talking about. I know there's beef sticks and tell us what, what else

y'all do gladly.

So we have. About, about a year and a half ago when this all kind of came about we started with our Amish beef sticks which are delicious, which are delicious. I'll be honest with you. When BJ brought this up and we started talking about this, I was like, eh, the existing Product lines that are out there.

I wasn't too fond of other beefsteak, other beefsteak companies, you know, just, just, you know, it's all ground up heart meat and stuff, right? You know, the taste, the flavor, the after it was just, I wasn't impressed. So his, his friend, which is a, which is actually a little a little debut distributor in the U S send us some samples and we, we taste them.

I was immediately, I was like, absolutely. The first ingredient was beef. Yeah. So I was sold. And, you know, you know, knowing about beef and knowing your business and you know, that was my first, what is it made out of? And when I, when I tasted and ate a few and had a bunch of few, or I had a few people around me taste them it was an instant success overnight with that.

And and so isn't the

cost a little cheaper than the, the regular. Absolutely. Other big name beef sticks that are out there. So that's an automatic win as well if you're a little bit better tasting.

That's that's two, that's two of the things that we try to do is we try to either be a competitive or a little bit less just because people are going to know the name brands automatically.

When they go into a store, they're going to know boom, boom, boom, right? These are, these are,

I'm going to reach for this

because I've had it before. So we automatically have to come in as the underdog, which is okay. And say. This is what we're going to put it at a little bit lower. As long as we make what we need to do on, on, it makes, you know, good business sense.

Right. And that's how we, that's how we do all of our products and, you know, not to get, not to be too greedy, but just make it make sense. So that's, that's how that started out. So back to your original question, bee sticks. We also have a, a, a great pork skin and crackling line that, that we've have been doing really good.

I've had the pleasure of actually talking to the guy that I work with now is actually the grandson. He's my salesman. He's the grandson of the company. And when he called me and told me who he was, I was like, oh, okay, you know, good deal. And he said, is it, you know, anything I can do to help? And so I immediately went to him and said, well, we've got some, we've got some customer requests for some of your items that I can't get.

Whether it be from, from different costs or different amounts you got to buy. He immediately threw all that away and said, you tell me what you want. I'll make it happen. And he did. So overnight success on that as well. He allowed us to bring in some other popular new items. And so that's really done good.

We also have a cookie line that we, that we sell through. And it's, it's done really, really good as well. We've blown that one out of the water. I'm very surprised cause the cookies are very competitive. But that's worked really good. We also have something else. It's our, it's our King Henry brand.

And what that is, is it's, it's different bags. Anywhere from five to eight ounce bags of different trail mixes different confections. So

the gummies, they're the cellophane bags with the paper top and then they sit on the little peg. Yep. That's a

little, yeah, it's a peg type system. It's a, it's

called, you'll have a whole rack of options.

Yeah. I think everyone's probably seen that in a convenience store.

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So, and we've had really good success with that. That's, that's growing every. Just about every, every two or three, four days, I'm getting a new customer saying, Hey, I want a new rack. So much variety in that.

Yeah. I mean, where else are you going to get cherry sours?

I don't know. I mean, unless Other

than that cellophane

bag. Right. And that's what we strive for. We have really pushed our Hispanic items. We've got probably 25 to 30 items on that, on our list, that we have really been pushing. And They sell everywhere.

You're

talking about like what chili flavor, peanuts,

anything, anything you can think of pineapple spicy

stuff.

Yep. The, so basically I think people like that. I think it's the tahini chili powder is what it is. Yeah. That is covered in anything.

It's a fan

favorite, fan favorite across the board.

That's awesome. Anybody that you would think,

and nobody else has something like that, right? Not really. So now you've become the supplier for almost

the, almost like a monopoly on that market and it's really growing you know. Starting out, using BJ's previous experience, we started out with some of the safer items that we knew.

Because for years past, he sold a similar product years ago. And but what we've learned is Some of the trends have changed and so we've moved to to almost get a perfect set when you go into a store We're trying to get it to where it's almost perfect set.

You've refined it to where you know, your cultures Your different stores what what people want in those areas right and give them what they want,

right?

Absolutely. It's awesome So that so that would be our that's our King Henry line There's also, there's a, there's a couple other test items that we have out there that we have tried in only three or four stores because it is so common. One of them is our rock candy sticks. Then we have a we have a large Very large jawbreaker sucker that we have.

And then we also have been trying out some Amish fudge. We have three different flavors of fudge. Those are all up front small items. So we're just trying those out to see how those work. Yeah. They're doing pretty good. That may just be a temporary thing. I don't know. Yeah. And then we have something else in the works that nobody really knows about because we're still waiting.

To see if, are we going

to learn it on the podcast? Are we

breaking the news? I'm probably, I'm going to break the news and I hope, I hope it's okay.

You hear it first here. I hope it's okay. The Ranch and the Table

podcast. I hope it's okay for me to say this. So we, yeah, good. We are trying to launch the Snyder's brand, which I know everybody has heard of, the pretzels.

Pretzels, yes. Pretzels and different things. Yeah. Snyder's. Yes. Has a lot more than just Snyder's there's a there's a lot that Snyder's may be the you know the parent company which They have a lot of other small companies with them

Did Snyder's just do just do pretzels for a long time for a long time.

That's all you got Okay, so now they've added some other

things. Okay, they've added which they're actually owned by Campbell soup Everybody is. Everybody is. Right. So when it comes to that, and we saw that we had an opportunity in our area, like I said, it's, it's nothing new. Everybody knows about it. But sometimes when, when routes and things like this opportunities come available in your area, like you said earlier, jump on it.

You're already in your area. You're already going to the same stores, same managers. Say, hey, now I'm doing this. So even more reason to be in your store longer. So they see your presence in that store with Little Debbie, Side Business, Snyder's. I want to spend an hour in the store on multiple items, not one item, multiple items.

You've got to

drive there anyway. I got to be there anyway. You guys got to get there with a truck and a trailer or something anyway, right? You might as well have 10 products to drop out instead of one. Absolutely. And that, and

that's, that's our goal is to have, have a good selection

synergy. Already built in to what is already having to be spent.

You already spent the fuel, you've already spent the time, you've already paid the guy, you might as well make 1, 000 that week instead of 100 that week, because you've got the same investment in it. Basically it's smart. That's smart business.

Maximize your profits and minimize your time. Yeah, that's where we, that's where we're at at the moment is that's, that's the, that's the process we're trying to.

Trying to fine tune as best as we can, because what we're seeing is our time is starting to go away because our business is growing. And so we've got to figure out ways to maximize, maximize the products and make it happen.

Well, I think what I've seen over the years that, that BJ and you have done really well is customer service.

Mm hmm. And this is This is my podcast, so I'm going to say it. I wrote a book, everybody knows I wrote a book. That's what I say it on every podcast, but I'm going to tie the book in now. I'm going to show it, show and tell time. Here's the book. Here it is. Burger brilliance. It's, the recipe of innovation, insight, imagination, wells, cattle company, burgers and pies.

And you can get this at our website, wells, cattle co. com. But what I was going to say is that whole book centers around what I'm about to say, quality product and customer service always provides the right bottom line and profits. And that's what I wrote about in the book. That's probably the overarching theme of the book.

And what you guys have done over the last nine years has grown from what probably everybody else does, which is a bread route. And then you move it into a prof, more profitable. Enterprise, but it's, it's good quality products and excellent customer service that has provided you the relationships that you have.

Am I right? Absolutely. So, in your relationships with gas station owners, with grocery store managers, with people across the board that you already have worked with and proven yourself, trustworthy, honorable. Honest, all of the things that when you say you're going to be there, you're there. When you say that product's going to be arriving, it does.

And then you've done that for the, for years. And now when you say I've got another product, it's a great product. Try it out. See if it'll work. There's a customer client relationship there that if the quality is what they're looking for. And then there's a some kind of a market where they are for it.

If it'll sell, that is a win, win, win that wins for you. It wins for the store and it wins for the customer. Customer comes in, they find what they're looking for, bam, they make a cut, you make a cut. And then that happens over and over and over and over and the business grows. And the more you can do that, the more you can maximize your time there and the money that you're there.

Yep. And for your business, that's got to be the most important thing because the quality of the products, you're not going to pick something that's cheap and say it's good. You're not going to pick something that's junk and say, you need this. You're going to have to believe in that product first, and then those managers and owners are going to have to buy into it.

And then if it sells, man, that's, that's the solution. I mean, as in many products as you can carry into that store, right? That's

the goal. That's the goal. As many as they'll let you

unload with that two wheel dolly, you're going to bring it in and restock it. Every week or whatever, and you've got Walmarts and you've got grocery store chains and you've got gas station chains convenience stores How many counties do y'all run in?

Oh gosh, I would probably,

what's your area? Do you know your radius? I mean, how, how many,

I'm going to probably say it's a hundred mile radius easily. Right now where we are, if you were to put on a, on a map and look at Paris, Tennessee, we, we, we, we basically make that Center hub. So 50 miles out around probably at least if not probably farther probably it's probably a hundred because we go up from where we are We go we go all the way up into it's the all the way up into Kentucky.

Mm hmm Almost to Owensboro. So that's on the it's on the the the top edge of Kentucky. Okay We go all the way all the way hour or so past Paris East, which would be by the side of Clarksville, Tennessee. We go down south we go to the left all the way to Memphis. So if you make the big, I mean, probably that's a big, that's a big area.

That's actually over a hundred miles. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's, and those are, there's a lot of stores in there that.

And there's stores that we haven't even touched just because this is the fact that we haven't had a chance to either aid get there or from time or, or, well, that's mainly at the time.

So you probably are at the point where you're about to need to hire somebody else just to keep track of the, the area to help you span out there and get everything covered. Well

we have kind of already got. One guy in place that helps us, so he, basically part of his time is with Little Debbie. Part of his time is, it helps us because he was already on a part time route.

So, he had a couple days extra. So, BJ and I sat down and thought, how can we maximize our existing help, and it doesn't interfere with Little Debbie. Before we go outside and start all over with somebody new, try to expand and, and maximize. Their potential as well and maximize what they make the most money.

They absolutely. And so by doing that we we've used, we've used him and we've got him almost basically the full time running and checking and delivering a lot of the stops. I mean, I've, I've told him time and time again, he he's becoming a more and more intricate part of the business that. to where when you grow to a certain extent, like as well as you have, you have people do things that you can't do physically because you've got so much going on.

And that's kind of where we're at with some of this is with him. And we've got another gentleman that is part time and that we're going to expand him over the next few months and draw them two guys to be full time before we even have to look for another one to where everybody can maximize time, money.

Energy and then we go outside right and

find somebody else makes sense. Yeah, we have Have a team that works with me out here on the ranch We've got several folks at some part time some full time and then at the restaurant, of course Most of them are now full time and we have a couple that bounce back and forth Just depending on what it is, but we've got a good crew of people, but it takes so many people to See it all happen, you know every single day.

I when we first opened I was at the restaurant Every day, I remember every day for the first two years, I was there pretty much every day establishing what we were doing, establishing our culture. And then it got to where I could back away a couple of days a week and be on the ranch more and do at first I was doing everything.

I was working the ranch. Weekends and, and just, I'd leave the restaurant, go out, check cows and come back in and for supper, you know, and, and work supper. It was crazy. And it's so nice to have trusted people, you know, there's no way we can do these. There's no way companies can operate without. Good folks, right?

Really good folks and people that you trust to, to do a good job, right? When you're watching or when you're not watching. They just know to do a good job and they do it and you know they do it. I've got a guy on the ranch here, he is, been with me July was three years, and Clayton is one of those guys.

He's one he might, I, I don't know if he'll listen to this or not. He listens to some of the podcasts. It's not. It's not required listening for every employee, but he may hear it or he may not. I don't mind if he does hear it. He's, he's a trustworthy guy. And I would rather somebody come to me and say, Hey, I broke this or I messed this up or I forgot to do this.

Absolutely. I would much rather have somebody tell me that than to somebody just not mention it or lie about it and say, I don't know. I don't know what

happened. Yeah. Try to cover it up. Yeah.

Yeah. Those are the worst. I don't. And so the, the, and I told Clayton from the day he came on working for me. I said, you just got to be honest with me.

If you have to tell me the truth, don't ever lie to me. And to my knowledge, to my knowledge I want to believe that he hasn't, he hasn't told a lie. He, he's told me a lot of things that has gone sideways and cows has jumped out and, you know, just, just silly things that have happened and things that are his fault, things that are not, aren't his fault.

But man, having good people. It allows the company to, to develop, right? And so these guys that you're going to make full time now, they're, they're able to contribute more, make more money, absolutely be happier, have more to live for and to end up in the game. But at the same time, you guys do too. So the company grows and all that, right?

Caleb she's, she's our producer and she's sitting here. She can listen, she can hear I trust her and I really trust all the staff at the restaurant, but knowing that she's up there, I don't have to worry about things not going right or things not happening right or something goes wrong, not hearing about it.

Which again, I have a good, good crew, everybody that works for us, it's great, good people, good people. We're blessed to have them. Yeah. And it's all I can do to just, you know, I want to pay them well. I want to, I want to be there for them. I want to help them as family as much as I can. But those brought out to me, what you're talking about is the success of your future in the, in the company that you're running really has a whole lot to do with, with the people.

No,

it really does. And something that I've always tried to. From day one, whenever BJ trusted me and moved me to the, to the supervisor spot that he did I still remember him telling me it was about a year and a half into working. And he told me, he said, you know, I want to, I want to move you into a supervisor spot.

I've never had one before. And he said, you know, you've done everything I've showed you the way I do it. I like the way you do it. I like the way you work. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. And we just, I mean, we clicked from, from day one and he told me and, and, and what I've tried to instill in all the guys is communication.

That's the biggest key, like kind of like you said about trust and if you would just communicate a lot of the issues won't, will never be an issue because if, if somebody says, well, I had to, I had to do this, I couldn't get ahold of you. Or this happened because I only talk to you once a week or whatever.

And these guys are independent. So I'm not there to hold your hand. We're all adults. We're all, we all have a job to do. However, I even tell them when I go on vacation, I told my guys today when I was driving here, I said, you can call me. I said, the only time I can't answer is if I got a big buck, you know, don't bother me.

Or, you know, if for some reason I'm out of range or something comes up. They know, they have the confidence knowing that if they text me or call me, that I'm not just blowing them off. That I will get back with them because I've told them communication. No, the only dumb question is not asking, ask me, I don't care if you got to ask me five times, call me, text me, whatever you want to do.

Communication is key and it makes things go so much smoother in any business. Yeah,

it keeps the guesswork out of it. Absolutely. When you communicate, you don't have to wonder, you don't have to assume. Nope. You know, the saying is when we assume we make out of both of us and, and. The thing is, is when you don't communicate, you don't know what to think.

No. And then your mind automatically goes to the most negative outcome, right? Absolutely. You're like, oh my gosh, well, he's, he's going to quit or, you know, he wrecked his truck or, you know, and that's the way the human brain is kind of programmed. Pick up the phone, send a text. It's all good. That's what I say all the time.

Go right back to lunch. You know, go right back to whatever you're doing. So, yeah. Communication is key. Absolutely is. Well, man, I, I wanted to just take advantage of this time with you here in town and do this. It's late at night. Nobody knows this. We've already been to dinner. Yeah. And then we set everything up real quick and got up upstairs in the, in the Wells Ranch Studios.

And And hung out for a little bit talking. But I think as much as I've enjoyed this conversation, my favorite part right now of this podcast is called rapid fire. And so rapid fire is when we get to ask each other three random questions and we have to answer. The best we can best we can. And so what I do is I usually nowadays I let the guests go first so you can ask your question first.

Okay. And then I'll do my best to answer and then shoot you with my net with my question.

All right, go ahead. Number one, your favorite restaurant ever anywhere. My favorite restaurant besides well excluding. I didn't write that excluding wells. Your, your favorite restaurant ever from, I mean, it could be from this year or whenever for your whole entire life.

It doesn't matter. Okay,

here it is growing up my favorite restaurant, and then they got off track and I don't even know if they're even open anymore. You know what I'm going to tell? You know what I'm going to say?

I, I hope there's one that you're not saying, but go ahead.

I had it and then I just lost it.

Oh no, I thought, Oh no, what's he saying? Tony, Tony Romas, Romas baby back ribs. Oh my goodness. And I'll tell you what

else. You know what? This podcast is over. I want some ribs. I

know, right? They had baby back ribs and they were about the same time that Chili's was doing their baby back. Baby back deal.

Yeah. And it was a big deal back in that time, but they were kind of the first ones to do it. Yes, I think for as a chain, but remember that the basket, the whole fry basket square is a square of onion rings. Yes. And they're all kind of interconnected, but they're really, really light battered and then really thin strings.

Yes.

Yes. Yes. And then the meat was just fall off the

bone. Some of the absolute best baby back ribs I've ever eaten. Yes. So good.

Now they, they did. I don't know if there's still any locations open, but they did get off track. They, I think they probably got to do CEO or something stupid. And they started not being as good.

But when we were young, I remember high school and down, maybe.

Yeah, that's when we, that's when we lived in Mesquite, wasn't

it? That we went a lot? Well, we did. We went over there and I think they had one in Plano.

Yeah, and then they had one on restaurant row in

Mesquite. Yes, and it was, it was the best.

So that was a bit, that's my favorite like old school growing up and whenever it was time to go to go eat some baby back ribs, dad say, all right, we're going to go, let's do it. Let's do it. Okay. All right. So my first question for you is speaking of dad, what's your favorite memory of dad growing up? What comes to mind is one of your favorite.

Times that for those that don't know, my, my, our father passed away just over six. 2017. 17. So yeah, May 29th or whatever, last day. And so he's been gone a few years, but what would you think pops in your mind the quickest there? Oh man. I know there's a lot, but just, if

you had to pick one.

Yeah. With the dad that we had, there's a million of them. Yeah. Mm hmm.

While you're thinking, I'll tell you, I say this all the time at the restaurant. I wish that you could have met my dad. I tell people all the time. I wish you could have met my dad. He was those that knew him at the end of his life didn't really know it. They didn't know it. His, his sicknesses got him a little bit.

He was, he got a little grouchy. He got a little, his

health declined quickly.

It did. You know, diabetes and stuff is bad. Bad news. That is. In the last few years, he wasn't quite the same, but for that.

His first 70 years were amazing.

Just, just a fun guy. You wanted to be around, you wanted to cut up

with absolutely.

He was, he was the best. So when you ask that question and that's a tough one these are supposed to be tough. Yeah, I know. I know. I'm going to say with dad was when we'd go to the cell bar growing up, loving cows, loving animals, loving farm life. Cattle auction going to go into the cattle auctions and this, this.

There was a particular cattle auction that we would go to where this lady you know, this, this older lady she was a waitress there and she got to know us. We'd go every, every week and she made this coconut cream pie and mom makes an amazing one as we know. So that's always been the joke, you know, you know, mom would be like, well, go to the sale bar and get a piece of hers, you know, whatever.

But it was, it was, I always remember we'd go and get a hamburger or whatever was on the menu plate lunch. And she'd always be like, y'all ready for your coconut cream pie. And it doesn't matter. It didn't matter how full we were, nothing. We always got that pie and either sometimes we'd get his own, sometimes we'd share.

And then we'd, you know, we'd go sit in the auction, but that was probably one of my favorite times just because he loved going to the sale. He had his buddies, he'd sit by they'd cut up the whole, cut up the whole time. Sometimes we wouldn't buy that. Sometimes we wouldn't even, he's like, you just want to go eat lunch there.

We wouldn't even take nothing or buy nothing. They would just go and eat. And that's probably one of my fondest

memories. When you say that if I could just tack on, I. One of the hardest places, but one of the best places that after he passed, when I would walk into the cell bar, it would hit me like a wave.

Absolutely. And I'd sit down in those chairs and the memories of all the years growing up, because we went to the cell bar our whole lives. I mean, even when. We were doing like bottle calf operation back forever ago, we would come to Sulphur Springs and we'd sit there and, you know, Greenville sale and then Emory sale.

And so one of the hardest, but I don't know. Beautiful times. I can say it that way is when I'd walk in and I'm, I guess I'm kind of over it. Now I've been there almost every week now, but when I'd walk in and just the smell of the animals and the, The shavings that they throw in, you know, when you walk in, there's a smell to it.

I know, I know. And you sit down, you eat.

It's, it's amazing. You know, the camaraderie of all the cowboys and cowgirls that are there. It's the atmosphere. Yeah. The whole, the whole thing. It's a wholesome place. It really is. Those are good people. It really is. It's a great,

great atmosphere. Cattlemen are some of the great people of the world.

The fabric of our society. Absolutely. They are. They, they are. Across the nation. Across the nation. That's right. You can, you can sit down with a cattleman a rancher and, and pretty much 99% of the time be a good man doing honest work. And, and loving the land and the, and the animals and doing his best, working hard.

Yeah.

And having a great most of the time and having a great conversation and having a lot, a lot of, lot of things in common. Yeah. And he may be from halfway across the Yeah. The

US Right. And you got a lot in common. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. What you got for your second one? Okay.

What's been the hardest challenge to kind of move away from the Uhhuh from that first question there?

Middle. Yes. Yeah. Well, yeah, I can do sentimental all day with with pops. Right. What's been the hardest challenge to building This restaurant that you currently own Wells cattle Wells cattle company

so I Have to start out by saying there's a lot of challenges that go into any business like that a restaurant's hard on lots of fronts, hard, hard, hard.

It's one of the hardest things in the world to do. I don't know if you know this, but 70 percent of restaurants fail in the first year. I didn't know. 90 percent of restaurants don't make it to 10 year mark. 90 percent won't make it 10 years. 70 percent won't make it. That's

almost, that's almost an impossible task to start out and to, you know, to see that and almost want to fail

now.

Yeah. Yeah. And so people who don't know that. You know, ignorantly jump in and then they, that's one of the reasons why I did write the book that I wrote was to try to help people in small business, understand things from different angles and different perspectives. And so the writing that I did really is in to encourage them to, to do things well, to do them with quality, to take care of the customer first and those things.

I would say the hardest thing, the hardest thing about owning a restaurant or the biggest challenge I'm going to just, let me just answer it this way. The hardest thing about owning a restaurant to me is the unfair, bad reviews. Fair enough. That's, that's the hardest part because we work our tail off.

We. work hard. Are everyone, I'm not saying anybody's perfect in my kitchen. A lot of imperfection in all of us, but there is something about every one of those guys that tries very hard every day, every day. And Kayla is shaking her head. Yes. They work very, very hard to put out a very good product. Every plate, every burger goes out.

They don't, they don't, See mistakes and let them fly when they, they really do work hard. And then we're there either me, mom or aunt Tina, somebody is there. Kayla, someone in the family is there every day, all day long. There's somebody there and they don't step over and ask for help. They don't complain to somebody.

They don't say anything. They hide it all like collect all their infractions and then they run to their. Reviews, all in mighty review site and start slamming us in a lot of times they don't even know what they're talking about, right? They make assumptions that are, that are wrong, completely wrong about us.

And that's, that's one of the hardest things just being honest is I can take a, I can take a lump. I got big shoulders. I can take a complaint. I can take someone getting mad. I can handle it. I'll, I'll get right back there with you and I'll settle it. We'll figure it out. We'll talk it out. I'll give you your money back.

I'll give you another trip in for free. I'll do, you know, I'll wash your car, you know, I'll do whatever you want me to do. Right. But when they don't let you have that shot, it feels personal. Yeah. And that's one of the hardest parts because we lead with our heart. Sure. We, we do. We lead with our heart.

Our feelings out there, man, we love you. We're shaking your hands. We're, we're, you know, that's just how we operate. We're, we're all in to this. And then when they're, when they don't reciprocate that, or when they're, when they're short and kind of snappy and bad reviews are hard, that's one of the, in five years, in five years plus in, it's still hard.

Well, because like you said earlier about the personal side. This is personal. Yeah, this is not a, this isn't something somebody gave you and you're like, well, we're trying it out. We'll see how it goes. You don't, you don't have much invested. You don't have a chain that got a corporate office in Chicago.

You spent, you spent hours and money and time and, and blood, sweat and tears and family members. And I mean, this is, it is personal. So when, when you have this and. Bad situation and they don't give you a chance. Yeah, it's kind of like they say the other thing is of why it's so personal It's because and this is in any business even even ours is you can have 10 good conversations with the manager, or you can have 10 great reviews.

And then that one,

that's the one that you carry all day with knocks

you down. And people see that one and, oh, and then it's, it's hard. So I, I see the personal side of it of why you want to get it fixed and take care of and,

and reviews are forever. They don't ever go away. Sure. I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago about reviews and the thing is, is there forever And the review companies keep dredging up the old bad reviews to have something interesting for people to read.

Well, they never die. They just keep recycling them back to the top.

So there's never a way to get it deleted. No,

unless there's some kind of a lie or they can, you can prove that this was a disgruntled employee or something like that, maybe. But I've, I've reported stuff with Google. Google's the worst.

You, I don't like Yelp because of their algorithm, but Google's the worst. They won't answer you like they, they just. I've tried to say, this is an unfair review, or this is, this person was never, they said they were never in my restaurant. What are we doing? Letting this review stand? Never answer you back.

Wow. Yeah. It's frustrating. I had no idea. I'd like to drive to Google and go talk

to them, but that's not the way it works. Yeah. No, I had no idea. It's

tough. And there's that, that episode was a, was a pretty direct episode. It was pretty straightforward. Someone, if you are listening to this, go back and look at the review episode.

When you have time, there's a lot of information. There's a lot of statistics in there. Interesting facts in there. Like it takes 40 good reviews to overcome one negative. 40 to one.

That's not fair. No.

No. What's fair about that? I mean, even two to one wouldn't be fair, but 40 to one, come on, that's, that's not cool.

All right. So you ready? I'm here's your second. I think so. Here's your second question. Let's do it. Your best piece of business advice you've ever received. Well,

from my current boss again, BJ, this is kind of life advice as well, but it's, it works really well in business. When he first hired me, and we started and we'd go in and we'd start talking to, to the different managers and, and, and, and doing the process that it takes to, to, to get your product to the shelf. It's, it, you know, it just doesn't obviously magically appear.

I mean, there's a process that it's gotta, that we've gotta go through to get it there. Mm-Hmm. . And sometimes that can be challenging in itself. Sure. And so sometimes you bypass. Steps A, B, and C, D because you're trying to hurry up and get E done so you can get on to the next store. Well, what I mean by that is he, he taught me from the very beginning to be nice to every employee in every store, which as a human person, human being, we should be, right.

That's why I'm saying it's, it's life advice, but on the business side, he, he, he, he showed that to me early on because he said, Not only should we do that already as, as Christians and as humans. You never know when that, that receiver, man or woman, someday, or that stock boy that you, you drive by or you push your cart by or whatever, and get out of the way you're, you're not important or you're, you're always rude to your receiver person or whatever.

You never know when one day they may be a manager or a somebody in, in, in a position that can make or break you in that store. And at first I was like, okay, but then as I quickly listened and took that advice and I can, I can sit here honestly today and tell you that I know personally quite a few, maybe not in my area anymore, but there were quite a few.

Backdoor people, we like to call them, or receiver people, or stock boys, or whatever, stock girls. Dock area. Dock area, whatever. That are now assistant managers, store managers, and I'm not talking about a store manager of a, of a little store here, I'm talking big chains, that you're glad that you did what was right, obviously, but you did that, or you took that piece of advice, because now, when you go to that guy.

Yeah. It, it's not, oh, now you want something. Right. Now you want me now you treat me not, yeah. Now you treat me like you, like I'm something like, you want something. Well, dad taught

us that too. Oh yeah, he did. You know, did he said, he said, you don't ever treat the janitor like the janitor. No. You know, you don't ever treat people just because maybe they don't have a prestigious job.

Like they're not important. Right. And we were raised that way. Right. But yeah, it is interesting. I wouldn't have thought that that would've happened as much, but I guess. People that work there would be the ones that they would promote from inside and move up. And if you've been doing it nine years, of course you've seen nine years is a long time.

long enough to see people move up to you'd

be surprised. Yeah, you'd be surprised. Especially in the chain companies that, that, that have employees that want to stick around for retirement, retirement decisions or investment options, whatever they have whatever their interest is. And that's what, that has what made, that's what makes Or has made me see that it's super important because

they stick with, they stick

with, they stick with the company.

So they're going to be there. So you need to do what you need to do. So when they do get to that point, but that's

good life advice. But there, yeah, just be nice to people. Absolutely. I think I said it in one of my previous I just shot another episode. Coming out and I said, you know, you can't be too nice.

No, you can never be too gracious. You can never be too kind. There's no, there's no limit to those things. And the more that you are kind and more that. You are just a nice person. The better your life is going to be.

Well, forever. No, you're exactly right. And actually to add to that life advice on the similar topic I was with one of my guys one day and I asked him one day.

He was always smiling. He's always friendly to everybody. It didn't matter if, you know, they could have just ran over his dog or they could have chewed his, chewed his butt out or whatever. When I asked him one day I said, you're always smiling, always friendly, no matter what you're always, you're always even kill no matter what the, what, what, what the day holds.

And he's like, and he told me and I stuck with me, this is probably four or five years ago. He said. Because you never know what that person is going through. You don't know really what, what, what, what, what's going on. Not how bad their day is. No. And he said, so my dad taught me at an early age, just be friendly no matter what.

And it doesn't hurt to smile. It didn't, it didn't hurt. It didn't cost anything to be friendly.

You can help somebody else's day by just being kind. Right.

And that's, that's, that's stuck with me as well. So that's good advice. Yeah.

All right.

Your turn. Oh, is it back to me? Yeah. All right. Where, where do you see or where would you like to see this restaurant or Wells as a whole in the next five to eight years?

Ooh. I could, I could really, I could really stir up the rumor mills with this one. Couldn't I, I, I think that there are, hang

on, you heard it first here.

I think that there are directions that we could go. Let me qualify this by saying we got to get through this next election year. Sure. In economy.

Absolutely. And hope that we're all still around. Yes, that's, that's what I'm going to say. First of all, because right now we're just all holding on, trying to make it through, trying to make a profit, hoping that everything holds together. Okay. And that's not me being doom and gloom. That's realist. You know, we're in a, you know, a market that's kind of shaky.

So I could say 10 stores and, you know, two locations over there are doing this or that. And, and really that's. That may not be real reality at all. We may just be real lucky we didn't see COVID coming. Right. You know, that was three years of, you know setting stuff backwards. Right. So we don't know what's going to happen.

But if everything stays on par, everything stays the course and we're, you know, America stays together and people keep having some money in their pocket to go out to eat. I, I kind of see us. With maybe a three store type of a system in the next five years. So we've got the rock wall location and if something bigger opened up, maybe out on the highway or something we love downtown, we love downtown, but we have maxed out that.

Facility, parking, kitchen, we, we can't do any more than we're doing and so we may be able to keep that, do that, and then add another location somewhere or two locations somewhere else. The other thing that we could possibly do is I have a food truck and I may, I'm looking at the possibility of maybe setting that up semi permanently somewhere and testing some markets out with that truck and then go on and off of that with events.

There are food truck yards all around. And so there's some, we were driving today talking about all the houses they're building and all these smaller towns are growing, you know. Where we are, where, where Addison goes to school it was a 2A, you know, 42 kids graduated with me and now they're a 4A school.

I don't know that they'll stay 4A very long. There's so many houses being built. And so there's opportunities coming up around us. If everything stays on par, I think that a couple more locations is probably within ream or within reason we'll see. That's interesting. I don't know that. I'm open to that.

Of course we have to be able to produce more cattle as well. That's part of that decision matrix. I don't know. And also it, it also takes the manpower takes trusting the right people to be able to step away from those locations and they operate. So, you know, that's, that's my best. No, that's exciting.

That's exciting.

Yes. That's awesome. Yeah. Okay.

Okay. We'll just have to see. Okay. All right. You ready for your last one? Then this is a, this is, this is a big one. Okay. This is a heavy one. Let's do it. All right. So what would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far in your life? Oh man, singular,

greatest accomplishment in my life.

Told you, told you it's a big one.

I could go so many directions here.

Can we push pause on this for a minute? Let me think. No pause.

I've never, while you're thinking, I'll tell the camera. We have never edited a single podcast for content. Everything has flowed from start to finish exactly as you see it. Or listen to it whenever it comes out. So we, we're not going to start now, man, this would be a perfect time to start.

I know. Right. Okay. That's the fun of rapid fire. Yeah. Well, you got it.

You're on the spot. Yeah. Let's, let's keep it just down the, down the middle of the road here. We don't want to go off one way or the other. I would say my biggest accomplishment is being able to.

Yeah. Dead air. I know. Dead air right now.

To, I know, it's a valuable moment. Huh. To, They're hanging by their fingernails. I know, me too. To, to, to stay level headed Yeah. in life is, I would say as much as I could. Huh. This may not be a popular one, but for me it is. To with no matter what life brings us and what life has brought me since we're talking about me to no matter the outcome, be able to at the end of the day, still be moving forward and being successful.

With no matter what life may bring you and just being, knowing, having a purpose is huge. And so I think my biggest accomplishment would be just the fact that some people give up, some people throw in the towel, some people, whatever. And I've always in the back of my mind, no matter what I'm doing or what I'm going to do, or what maybe God has for my life, whatever it may be.

With either in, in, in, on the religious side of it or the professional side, whatever is never give up. And that's, and I, it's been instilled in me. So I think that's my biggest accomplishment is to not, is that I've been able to keep it moving forward no matter what, no matter what happens. Yeah.

You know man, that's a.

That's a great answer. Okay, for real. Okay. That was deep. Well,

it was cool. That's what happens when you do rapid fire You

never know what you're gonna get. I know well I was I was going to I was gonna share something with you. Take take his shot again real quick. So i'm gonna i'm gonna do something

Okay. I've never done this before, but I grabbed my phone because there was a post that I made today. This is going to tell everybody if they care what day it is, but I don't, I don't care. So on my post today on Facebook, this is what I posted. And I saw this and I, and I copied, it's not original with me, but I found this and put it out.

You have to train your mind to be stronger than your emotions or else you will lose yourself every time. And I think that's what you just said. Yeah. I think that's what you just said was you have to train your mind. I'm not quitting. I'm not giving up. It may be hard, you know you've, you've lost in life before I've lost in life before.

We've lost business before you've lost a marriage before. I don't want to get too personal, but you've lost before, right? And there's, there's things that have come along that if you don't just take a hold of yourself and say, that's not the end of me, that's not the end of. I'm not quitting. I'm not giving up.

You have to, but you have to have a strong enough mind and you have to be, have a made up mind is the way we said it growing up in church, got to have a made up mind. Absolutely. No one, I'm going to start preaching here in a minute, but you got to have a made up mind to make it. Cause if you don't, if you don't, your emotions will get the best of you

and you can spiral down real quick.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and there's depression down there. There's There's anxieties down there. There's a lot of things down there to dip into once those things start hitting. Yeah. That are very hard to mobilize out of. Yeah. And I think, I think we had a very good teacher in, in our mom and dad.

Absolutely. They they didn't always have it easy. They had dad lost business a couple of different times, and he he, he showed how you just keep trucking.

He worked, he worked, he worked till the day he, he died. Yeah, that's just, that's just what he was. And, you know, and mom, mom worked, you know, up until her still work.

Well, I mean, I mean, every day with her, with her first book, with her first job, she worked and retired for years, you know, and then, and now she's been working. Here at the ranch with at the restaurant, you know, you know, we're basically whatever she's been asked to do and she works full time.

She's still full time and we try to give her some time off and she enjoys that.

She enjoys her time off, but she also is ready to go when it's time to go, get back up and go again. Yeah. And there's some of that that I think we're privileged. People, you and I, we're privileged. And I hope that we're raising our kids in a way to see that you keep trucking. You don't, you don't let circumstances and emotions get you to the place where you immobilize and you quit moving forward.

Great answer, man. Great answer. I've enjoyed, I've enjoyed doing this. I mean, I'm glad we decided to do this afternoon. I thought we came up and I showed him the podcast studio and. And it hit me. I said, while he's in town, we might as well sit down and do a session together. I'm so glad we did. I won't close out by.

Showing this book one more time. You can get it. It's in print now. You can order it at wellscattlecode. com. Just go to the shop on the on the webpage there. We've got hoodies and we've got t shirts and we've got knives and mugs and all kinds of stuff you can buy. But this book is in paperback.

It's available now. I've got hard. Hardback covers coming, hardback covers coming next week. And so we'd be able to ship it out pretty quickly to you. So if you want to grab a copy of this book, you can. And we just always appreciate the time. I appreciate your time on these podcasts. I try not to waste your time.

I try to have something to say guests with something to say for the time that you invest with us here on the, on the ranch and table. And so I guess until next time we say adios, farewell, goodbye, good luck solo.

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