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ood is a spiritual experience for south- sales annually, a question came to mind: If itâ€™s erners. But until Jim Hatten launched such a big business, why do you never see adverthe Mississippi BBQ Trail last June, his tisements? And how big could it be if you did? career path went nowhere near food. â€œThe cool mom-and-pop places that everyFollowing about six years of active duty in one wants to visit canâ€™t afford to advertise down the street,â€? Hatten says. â€œMy research shows that the Air Force, Hatten attended a number of colleges, including Weber State University; Utah around 22 percent of these places have a website. State University, where he earned an avionics Some had a Facebook page, but they were not being maintained.â€? He maintenance license in also surveyed eight 1984; Mississippi State restaurant-review University, where he websites and found earned a bachelorâ€™s a startling lack of reof arts and sciences views. â€œThat gap is in philosophy and rewhere the inspiration ligion in 1988; and the came to me,â€? he says. Iliff School of Theology, where he earned Hatten took that a masterâ€™s of divinity inspiration and cre// by Carmen Cristo degree in 1990. ated the Mississippi BBQ Trail, an affordIn 2009, Hatten able three-tier adveropened a consulting tising system for the firm, the Jim Hatten stateâ€™s diverse beef School of Manageand pork offerings. ment, until a series of devastating injuries left Because of the him unable to work. lack of online resourcHatten was evicted es in an increasingly from his apartment digital market, the and was homeless website came first. It for four months. The contains a list of 90 U.S. Department of barbecue joints on Veterans Affairs took the â€œtrailâ€? with adhim in, helped him get dresses and phone healthy and gave him a numbers. The joints scholarship to go back populate a digital barto school. This series becue map of Missisof events set him on sippi. Getting on the Jim Hatten began the Mississippi BBQ a brand-new pathâ€”a list is a process that Trail as a way to get the word out about trail, if you will. involves verifying a libarbecue joints around the state. cense, health departHatten enrolled ment certificate and at Hinds Community College in Raymond in 2013, graduating with an ability to give receipts. In the future, customers associateâ€™s degree in marketing management will be able to stack up receipts to qualify for discounts and awards. The second advertising tool technologies last year. During that time, he stumbled across an he plans is a print guide with information about interesting concept while completing home- the restaurants. Selling the Magnolia Stateâ€™s best work. As he contemplated building a grill from a barbecue sauces online is the third component 5,000-gallon steel tank for a resort development, and the way Hatten, 55, hopes to attract visitors he found an article about the feral hog epidemic from outside the state. in the South and solutions to combat it. Hatten The ultimate goal is connecting consumers wondered how he and the barbecue-loving food with local businesses. â€œI want to show people not culture could play a part in keeping these wild anonly how good this food is, but how fun these imals from destroying local farms and ranches. places are and how cool these people really are,â€? He spent months researching the barbecue Hatten says. business. When Hatten found that Mississippi For more information, visit msbbqtrail.com brought in about $75 million in beef and pork or find the Mississippi BBQ Trail on Facebook.
Lauren Davis of LurnyDâ€™s Grille serves hungry downtowners on the go.
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Work. Live. Play. Prosper.
Published on Mar 3, 2015
Published on Mar 3, 2015
The City's Coolest Offices pp 48-52 Brand Yourself p 53 DiBiase Strikes Back p 18 Ode to Ms Walker and Miss Welty pp 14 & 58 A New Hops p 46...