Story and photos by Jenn Goeddeke
If you’re a fan of barbecue, then it’s safe to say that walking into Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will create an instant craving! The aroma from the meat on the hickory-smoke burner is truly delicious.
Craig Southerland is the proprietor and, along with his sister Cindy McFall (manager), they have created a fun, friendly “fast-and-casual” dining locale. With family-friendly promotions such as “kids eat free on Sundays”, Southerland continues to expand his loyal customer-base in the area. Coming up on his two-year anniversary at the 23123 Woodward in Ferndale location, Southerland plans on running some mouth-watering specials. Last year, for example, there were all-you-can-eat ribs!
Dickey’s started out in 1941 by Travis Dickey (a World War I veteran), and the first location was in Dallas, Texas. Franchising began in 1994, and now there are over 500 locations in the USA. “During the past five years, the brand has really exploded in popularity…quite a few more Dickey’s will be opening in the Metro Detroit area soon, and I plan to open another locale myself!” Southerland added. As far as local promotion goes, Southerland mostly relies on the word-of-mouth referrals and leans on the good local reputation he has already created: “…we have our regulars, plus we really get out into the community a lot!”
A good part of Dickey’s huge success is, of course, its food quality and menu selections. The current menu includes: beef brisket; pulled pork; St. Louis-style ribs; polish sausage; spicy cheddar sausage; smoked turkey, and marinated chicken. In addition, there is a wide array of home-style sides to choose from, such as jalapeño beans or macaroni & cheese. A buttery roll and ice-cream comes free with every meal.
He also frequently donates food, for example, to local bands. Recently, the local radio station, WCSX, hosted an event, and Dickey’s fed an impressive 200+ people! Fundraisers for organizations such as PTAs are also frequently hosted by Southerland: “We will give back 15 per cent of whatever sales they drive in,” he explained. Additionally, Ferndale High School graduates always receive five to ten per cent off their bill (depending on whether it is a pick-up or delivery order). Southerland firmly believes he chose the best location when he picked Ferndale, “I chose this locale out of five that were on offer partly because I am familiar with the area, and also because there is plenty of foot traffic. I had no idea what to expect, but everyone has been so supportive and helpful, including our customers, the DDA staff, Stephanie Loveless, Crystal Proxmire, and so many others…they totally won me over!”
Dickey’s is open daily from 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., and they also cater for events such as graduation parties & corporate lunches. “Catering is a huge part of our business, between 15-25 per cent of our sales,” Southerland pointed out.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is located at: 23123 Woodward Ave in Ferndale and is open Mon-Sun, 11am-9pm.
Call Dickey’s at: 248.565.3355, or reach by email: DickeysWoodward@gmail.com.
Check out their websites: http://order.dickeys.com; http://www.dickeys.com; https://twitter.com/DickeysFerndale; http://instagram.com/dickeyswoodward.
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