Sahlen's Packing Co. – maker of WNY grilling favorite Sahlen's hot dogs – is taking its show on the road, offering its product to grocery shoppers in Charlotte, N.C.
Food Lion stores throughout Charlotte will start selling Sahlen's hot dogs sometime in mid-July or shortly thereafter. The move is part of the company's effort to start reaching more cities across the country. "Widespread availability" is expected by summer 2013, according to a news release.
"We knew we had to do more than tell people we had a great hot dog. We had to show them," said Chris Cauley, former vice president of salezsss and marketing who is still with Sahlen's but in a different position. "To date, nearly everyone who has tried our hot dogs has claimed they are the best they've ever had, even without coleslaw and chili."
Sahlen's has been testing the market in Charlotte since 2010. It has worked with companies there – Brian's Dog House Grill and Buffalo Cravings – to help gauge the response to the product. Both companies are owned by former WNY residents who were familiar with the hot dogs.
In addition, Sahlen's became a licensed street vendor in Charlotte, establishing Sahlen Vending Operation, LLC. The hot dog cart operates from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. three days a week on the streets of Charlotte.