BD&K Foods founders Kevin Jordan, Brad Meadows, and David Smith were raised in the South on wholesome farm-to-table foods prepared according to recipes passed down for generations, meals served around a big dinner table where families gathered daily in fellowship to restore their bodies and nourish their bonds.
Wanting to preserve that experience for present and future generations, in 1989 Kevin and David opened their first diner in the Auburn, Alabama area. The success of that diner led to a chain of diners and then, later, a chain of meat-and-three restaurants where they served busy families traditional Southern meals like those they had grown up on. There turned out to be quite a hunger in the fast-paced modern world for their slow-cooked, lovingly prepared comfort foods, which satisified not only the needs of the belly but also a longing for a simpler, less hurried time.
As their business grew and different cooks prepared meals at their several locations, they became concerned with recipe consistency. They knew restaurant patrons wanted the same delicious, traditional tastes each time they returned for a meal, so they set up a central kitchen to supply each of their restaurants. Soon, they were also preparing their Southern-style side dishes for other restaurant chains.
Business success spurred growth, Brad joined the team, and soon the company was providing side dishes to retailers such as grocery stores and delis, which sold BD&K side dishes in their hot buffets. Starting in 2005, BD&K gave military families overseas a taste of home as a supplier of prepared foods to the U.S. military. Soon, the company was producing
17 million pounds – 70 million side dish servings – each year. To accommodate this growth,
in 2009 BD&K moved into a 40,000+ square-foot facility in Columbus, Georgia.
In 2013, BD&K identified a major void in the retail food business: prepared vegetables to market alongside ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens. The convenience of grab-and-go rotisserie chickens – avoiding the lines and waiting at the deli counter – has made them a major growth product in grocery stores and delis. More than 800,000,000 of these chickens are sold each year.
But a rotisserie chicken, no matter how tasty, is only one part of a complete meal. What about the side dishes? BD&K is stepping in to complete the meal, making it just as convenient to pick up some wholesome side dishes as it is to grab that chicken.
BD&K’s new Fixin’s line offers eight hot, fully prepared and packaged side dishes, to be offered for sale right next to those rotisserie chickens. Families can grab a complete meal, ready to serve, and be home in plenty of time to sit down and enjoy a wholesome, relaxed family dinner together.
The Fixin’s side dishes hearken back to the foods that graced the dinner tables BD&K’s founders sat around growing up: Field peas and collard greens, butter beans and sweet kernel corn, green beans, macaroni and cheese, okra and tomatoes, and smashed potatoes. Each one is prepared according to the same traditional recipes that have been bringing families together for generations.
From the founders’ own family dinners to their meat-and-three diners to grocery store delis and grab-and-go side dishes, BD&K Foods continues its mission to preserve not only traditional Southern cooking but the traditional importance of the family dinner, an institution more important than ever in our fast-paced world. So slow down, y’all. It’s time to eat.