Southern migration

by Steve Krut
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Bill and Paul Salsburg still come to work on a daily basis, but they're ready to hand over the reins to the next generation.

Continued growth

When the store opened, there were only 10 employees. They opened a second store in Margate, about 20 miles away, and in February they will open a third store in Sunrise, midway between the other two stores. All of their sales are retail only.

Using the same formula of fresh, quality products at affordable prices and in great variety, Penn Dutch makes heavy use of colorful flyers touting their specials. About 75,000 of these promo pieces hit the mail each week.

“We like to think that we offer shoppers wholesale club prices without a membership fee,” Paul asserts. “Then we remind them that since we process and cut most of our meats in-house, there is much less need for extra shipping and we can work with less salts and preservatives.

“Our customers know what we make and how we make it right at the stores,” he continues. “Our sampling and tasting program is solid and we even have a hot dog cart just inside the entrance to serve our Belly Buster ¼-lb. hot dogs and we sell thousands of them every week.

“Hot dogs are really a huge seller for us, but our smoked hams, everything from fully cooked bone-in to spiral-cut varieties, are one of our most important items. We sell them by the thousands on a regular basis.”

Both Paul and Bill regard their titles as “advice givers.” They both come in on a daily basis, but make it clear they are passing on the business management to the younger generation of Salsburgs.

Bill’s son Greg, 50, once planned to go to law school. He admits that when he realized what his family had built in Florida, he wanted to be part of it and today could be identified as the operations manager for the company. In addition to Greg, three other younger family members, Jacob, Sophy and Micah, are excited about carrying on the business.

The new store in Sunrise is a 13,000-sq.-ft. converted Walgreen’s facility that they lease. The Salsburgs have also made ongoing changes to their other store locations, including the Hollywood store which they have changed from “small and cluttered to clean and bright.”

As the old saying goes: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” The proof of the success for Penn Dutch and the Salsburg family is that they established what they wanted their business to be and worked diligently to get it to that level and sustain it with their original formula of quality, variety and price. It’s kind of what you would call a country butcher shop on steroids.

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