October 12, 2017

4 Rivers launches new division to sell to restaurants

“4 Rivers Smokehouse launched a new food service division, selling its savory meats and sweet desserts to other eateries.”

“The Winter Park-based fast-casual barbecue chain launched the new business-to-business division at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show in Orlando Wednesday, said owner and founder John Rivers.“It’s a whole new business for 4 Rivers,” Rivers said. “It represents all of us, so we have to do it right.”

The company has already made deals with stadiums at the University of Central Florida and Florida State University, Rivers said.

The new division is selling smoked meats and desserts to other food restaurants through companies such Sysco.

4 Rivers will sell smoked pork ribs, sausage, brisket an pork through the new venture.

“You can just put it in the oven and that’s it,” Rivers said.

The meat is smoked at a USDA-certified facility in the Houston area, not too far from where Rivers learned the art of barbecue while working as a hospital executive in Texas.

4 Rivers has grown from a single location in Winter Park and recently opened restaurant 14 in Atlanta, the first restaurant for the company outside Florida.

Rivers said there are no immediate plans for a new restaurant and the new food service brand is keeping him busy.

4 Rivers already sells sauces and rubs in stores, but smoked meats are unlikely to end up at supermarkets, Rivers said.

“I just don’t know if that would work,” he said.”

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