Well-known restaurant owner expands restaurant supply business

Jason Steele said buying an established local restaurant supply business was a 'good fit'

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A well-known restaurant owner is expanding his restaurant supply business.

10 years ago, Jason Steele opened the popular West Tupelo restaurant, Steele’s Dive, but he was always looking for other business ventures that paired well with food service.

So, when Ken Jeter decided to sell his restaurant supply business, Steele decided it would be a good fit.

“It all kind of happened pretty fast,” Steele said.

That was five years ago, and recently, Steele bought Jackson Restaurant Supply in Jackson, Tennessee.

Supplying equipment to restaurants is just one aspect of the business.

“We can do anything from meet with an architect to design kitchen from scratch, to fix your deep fryer after you get going, we really are the only full line A to Z restaurant supply house in North Mississippi,” Steele said.

In the five years since Steele purchased Ken Jeter Restaurant Supply, the business has expanded growing its customer base. Steele said there is one thing most folks don’t realize though. You don’t have to own a restaurant to be a customer.

“We carry a lot more inventory that could be considered residential, or for your deer camp, we have knives, sharpeners, meat grinders, saws, things you don’t have to own a restaurant to be able to use,” he said.

Steele said his experience in the restaurant business laid the groundwork for his expansion.

“I joke all the time. I don’t know how anybody has a restaurant without a supply house. It’s not uncommon for me to get a phone call, 10 on a Friday night, somebody is out of something, or it’s broken. I come to the showroom, let them in, and get them out of a bind,” Steele said.

Looking to the future, Steele said he wanted to continue growing his restaurant supply business serving customers throughout North Mississippi and western Tennessee.

Ken Jeter Restaurant Supply began 50 years ago in Tupelo.

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