Landrum’s Ken’s Meats & Seafood announces closingPublished 12:15pm Sunday, March 2, 2014
Ken’s Meats & Seafood has announced that they plan to close their store in Landrum on March 15.
Ken and Chris Brackett opened for business in May 2011 and saw early signs of a positive future but business began to flatten last summer.
The entrepreneurial couple kept their expenses as lean as possible, running the business as a couple and not adding employees in an effort to keep their overhead at a minimum. Slow and declining revenues, however, rendered tough times and a bleak forecast.
Brackett said that he saw positive revenues for the first year and a half after they opened their doors, but their regular customers slowly started to decline.
“We just didn’t have enough local support to sustain us for the long run,” Brackett said. “Unfortunately I can count on two fingers how many local businesses bought from us and that was unfortunate,” Brackett said.
Brackett said that their meat business was not losing money but rather only breaking even. It was the future financial milestones that Brackett put in place that qualified their decision to close.
Brackett has been in the meat business for more than 30 years and understands both the supply chain and marketing strategies. “I worked for Winn-Dixie and actually went to school and learned the trade from the old-school butchers. Most grocery chains today no longer invest in that sort of education,” Brackett said.
Brackett said that he knows how to serve his product with finesse and had a high degree of confidence that his products and services would catch on.
“I care about how every piece of meat and slice of seafood I put in our cases each day,” Brackett said. “I guess it’s just the convenience factor that hit us. People have sort of become habitual in the way they buy their groceries today. It’s more of a one-stop, grab-and-go market where supermarkets prevail.”
Brackett said he considered locating his gourmet high-end beef, poultry and seafood business in Tryon but found the rents to be between 20 and 50 percent higher than comparable spots in Landrum.
He also said he thought that the larger amount of pass-through traffic running through the heart of Landrum would be an added benefit.
“Bottom line, I expect that the demand for my products is just not here in our local community,” Brackett said.
Chris Brackett plans to continue to build her cake baking and decorating business and Ken’s plans are unknown at the moment but he said he will continue to follow his passions in the collection of historical artifacts from excavation points in the local area.
Brackett says that some of his regular customers are placing their large orders now before they leave.
“We are also placing a lot of our dry goods on discount and will continue to do so until we close,” Brackett said.