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Shane’s Rib Shack offers tasty treats

When you have a great product, it practically sells itself.

Wesley “Wes” Long, general manager of Shane’s Rib Shack, believes his product can stand on its merits.

“I’m originally from Arkansas, just across the river from Memphis,” he said. “They had contests there yearly to determine the best barbecue. I’ve tried them all.”

When he was offered the position at Shane’s Rib Shack last year, he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his career for anything less than what he called a “top-notch product.”

“My main thing was if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t work here,” he said. “Here I am.”

The store, 11320 Parkside Drive, is wedged in between two other eateries. The concept of the business, Long said, is what helps draw customers from other area stores.

“The concept itself is something new,” he said. “Our place is a fast, casual concept with barbecue. With the quality of the food we produce and having it fast, that’s unheard of.”

Long said all of the barbecue is made from scratch, from the rubs placed on meats before cooking to the variety of spices added during the cooking process.

“Our sampler platters are generally our best seller,” he said. “In those samplers, people can try our chicken tenders and pork as well as our ribs. Ribs, though, are our specialty. The method we use to smoke them adds to the flavor.”

The Raving Brands Corp., who purchased the rights to the name several years ago from a man named Shane, owns Shane’s Rib Shack.

“I don’t remember his last name,” Long said. “We just always call him Shane.”

Shane ran his independent barbecue shack outside of Atlanta. Long said the company bought the name and recipes from him several years ago.

“All the recipes remain true to Shane’s original quality,” Long said.

Some of the other products the store offers, such as potato salad, coleslaw and salads come pre-packaged, Long said.

“A lot of companies do that,” he said. “It’s just more cost-efficient that way.”

The store, which opened Jan. 11, is the second one in the state. Long said there are 52 other stores across the southeast.

The Knoxville store owner is Mike Loftis of South Carolina. Long said Loftis plans to expand Shane’s Rib Shack into other locations.

“He chose Knoxville as a test market,” Long said. “If the store does well here, it will do well other places.”

The company offers catering services to companies that enjoy the barbecue.

“We’ll cater as far away as Maryville or any reasonable distance,” he said.

Since January, Long said business has grown steadily. He declined to say how much the average sale cost, or quarterly growth expectations.

“My main thing is about quality and keeping the quality consistent,” he said. “That is what keeps customers coming back.”

For more information, call 865-675-7427.


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