Using Her Expertise
Pork Belly’s Eatery and Catering Co. was established in 2014, by Eddie and Kate Meek, who have over 17 years in the restaurant and hospitality business. They smoke their meats in-house and use it to create unique dishes. Pork Belly’s is a full-service restaurant and they also offer catering. Kate and Eddie recently decided to grow their business and now have a second location in St. George that opened about three months ago. Kate says, “They enjoy making people happy and that being with food.”
Kate decided to open her own business because she enjoys every aspect of the hospitality industry. Her background is in hotel services working at both the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Ritz Carlton. She always enjoyed the food and beverage side of the hotel business. Her husband Eddie had an extensive background in the restaurant industry, so the joint experiences of both provided a good background to opening a restaurant and catering business. Kate takes a very hands-on role in her business, she does everything from washing dishes, cooking, taking orders and cleaning tables. When it comes to the catering side of the business she does everything from A to Z.
Location is Key
The biggest challenge with opening both their southern Utah locations has been getting them open on the date they set for an opening. Neither one opened on the date that was set, because of a variety of challenges including weather, tourism, financial reasons or construction delays. However, Kate believes, “There is nothing that can stop you as long as you have a goal in mind. There will be obstacles in every direction but there are definitely some you can overcome.” She says the process of starting and running a business is a learning curve so there is no magic formula to make it work.
Kate said her brand is different from other restaurants because they make everything from scratch. The recipes they use aren’t something you are going to find anywhere else. For example, their biscuit and cobbler recipes are her husband Eddie’s great, great aunt’s from Alabama. Combining different items to make one dish is another of their specialties. She believes her customers know that everything they are being served is fresh and not frozen. Kate thinks people are more concerned about what they are eating than twenty years ago and “fast food” is phasing out.
When asked what her advice would be to women starting out in business her advice was, “Location is key, it needs to be accessible and visible to a lot of people. and the product you’re selling should be unique-not something you can get anywhere else.” Also, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” She thinks people have a tendency to get on board with the “next big thing” when they should stick to what they know to be successful.
Support Local Businesses
Kate loves marketing her business and one thing she loves to do is brainstorm with other business owners in the area. All of them get together often and talk about things; such as, competition and working together to support each other. To support the locals she and her husband go out to eat a lot at other restaurants to help show their commitment to supporting the local businesses.
You can find Pork Belly’s Eatery and Catering Co. at two locations in Southern Utah:
Cedar City – 565 S Main Street
St. George – 1091 N Bluff Street Suite 404
Or visit their website to learn more about their catering options. They do all types of events both large and small.
You can also find them on Facebook.