Although the city of Jacksonville, Florida, is far from a small town, a barbecue concept that has been based there since 1980 is restructuring its franchise sales expansion plan to include a focus on Main Street, U.S.A. Woody’s Bar-B-Q has partnered with the franchise sales company, Eastbourne Brands, to target small towns throughout the Southeast that they believe will wholeheartedly support the classic Southern BBQ chain. Eastbourne Brands will focus its efforts on Woody’s home state of Florida to start, before expanding its efforts to include Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas and Tennessee.
“Two of the top performers in the Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchise system have been Florida’s Sebastian in Indian River County and Macclenny in Baker County – consistently, year after year,” says Tra Williams, president of Eastbourne Brands. “According to U.S. Census estimates for 2018, Macclenny is at the low- to mid-range of our desired population scale with somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,700 residents, whereas Sebastian is on the high end with roughly 25,000 residents. With a concept like Woody’s Bar-B-Q – which features slow-smoked meats, comfort food sides, homemade-inspired desserts and a stellar reputation for service with a smile, we believe we’ll resonate with people who have small town values and view a night out as a treat. With enough population to support and very little competition to detract, we’re banking on success through the ‘big fish, little pond’ analogy and are excited to expand our reach throughout Florida and the Southeast.”
Based on the demographics of Macclenny and Sebastian, several of the top towns Woody’s Bar-B-Q and Eastbourne Brands are targeting to start throughout the state of Florida include Alachua, Atlantic Beach, Auburndale, Avon Park, Bartow, Belleview, Beverly Hills, Bonifay, Chipley, Clewiston, Crystal River, Dania, Defuniak Springs, Dover, Dunnellon, Edgewater, Ellenton, Englewood, Eustis, Fort MC Coy, Frostproof, Fruitland Park, Gibsonton, Haines City, Havana, Hawthorne, Hernando, High Springs, Holiday, Homosassa, Interlachen, Inverness, Keystone Heights, Labelle, Lake Placid, Lecanto, Live Oak, Marathon, Marianna, Mims, Monticello, Mount Dora, Newberry, Perry, Polk City, Quincy, Ruskin, Seffner, Silver Springs, Summerfield, Sun City Center, Tavares, Thonotosassa, Trenton, Umatilla, Wauchula and Williston. Once this formula secures success in Florida, the BBQ chain will begin focusing its efforts beyond the borders of the Sunshine State.
“2020 marks our 40th anniversary in business,” says Yolanda Mills-Mawman, president and Co-Founder of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. “We’d love to celebrate by sharing our concept with a new generation of entrepreneurs and up-and-coming fans of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. Of course, the success of our expansion plan doesn’t rely on population size alone. We are seeking dedicated business leaders who care about people, appreciate great food and truly love the community in which their franchise will be based. When a business owner loves his or her community, the patrons will sense that and will return that love through loyalty and word-of-mouth endorsements to anyone who will listen.”