Shelby Shopper

September 30, 2021

Shelby Shopper Shelby NC

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704-484-1047 Our 38th Year • Issue No. 39 • September 30, 2021 "In GOD We Trust" N.C. TRACTOR & FARM SUPPLY 299 Railroad Ave., Rutherfordton • 828-288-0395 Mobile: 828-429-5008 • IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! PROUDLY SERVING RUTHERFORD, CLEVELAND, GASTON, LINCOLN, POLK COUNTIES AS THE AREAS HOMETOWN MASSEY FERGUSON DEALER. Bret Morey: "Our 2021 on-line sales alone will exceed $1.8 million" by MICHAEL E. POWELL Writer – CF Media Asked to describe their most recent move and expansion for their ever-growing hot sauce business at the ribbon cutting on Friday, Aug. 20, former Cher- ryville resident and one-half of a custom-made hot sauce entre- preneurship, Bret Morey, said simply, "We are blessed beyond measure!" And he is not kidding, as he described how their small, seven-person business started out with him, son, Elijah, and one or two sauce cooking pans out of their own home kitchen and burgeoned into what it is now: a large N.C.-based com- pany that markets its own Eli- jah's Extreme Ghost Pepper sauce, as well as a whole family of other flavorful sauces, across the nation and the world. Their growth has caused them to move twice in the last year, Bret said. "Elijah began taking over all the marketing while still in col- lege. We agreed on a budget that began as a daily spend for ads and he began to craft content, pictures, headlines, create and edit his own videos, adding music and even voice overs. Then would test each to see what was working best. This took hours and hours of time; the net result was more folks seeing our brand, more folks buying from our website, grocery and other stores and of course Amazon. As sales began to increase so did the need to invest more to continue that reach." Bret noted after Elijah gradu- ated college, he began digging into understanding social media platforms, creating more con- tent, learning what was working and what was not. He built on the successes, learning from the mistakes, to know what not to do later. Said Bret, "Finding out what doesn't work is just as important as what does." By May 2020 they saw sales like it was Christmas time, and knew they needed more space to manage their accelerated growth. "We found a 2,500-square foot warehouse space in an old mill, cleaned it up, painted it and made it our home," he said. Business increased and they moved in Aug. 1, 2020, quickly got set up with their packing table and adding two more. By November, they saw sales trend up quickly. By December, the Morey's and one employee were pack- ing 500-600 orders a day. By 2021 they increased to four packing tables and realized the 2,500- sq. ft. space was not big enough. By March due to the need to have more inventory on-hand to pack and ship quickly, they needed more space and found a bigger, 6,000-sq. ft. ware- house with a small office area that was a perfect fit for them, he said. "Just like before, we cleaned and painted and up-fit the whole space to be our own, and moved in June 1," Bret said. Thanks to Elijah, they now have hundreds of recipes using their sauces on their own Pin- trest page and website, with step-by-step videos as well. Eli- jah also created a weekly recipe newsletter, 'Cookin' it up with Elijah's Xtreme', in its fifth week and already reaching 5,000 who signed up to get it. The N.C.-based company is growing by leaps and bounds, adding in another 1,000 to 2,000 grocery stores by 2023, and increasing on-line sales to surpass their 2021 Amazon sales which is over $1.2 million. Morey noted their on-line sales will exceed $1.8 million for 2021 and their total gross sales is $2.5-2.9 million. "Just think, our sales for 2019 was $298,000. God is good!" he said. For Shelby and Cleveland County locations selling their signature sauces, try Ingles in Kings Mountain (in the local products area – any Ingles that carries local products will have it. "We have over 1,000 stores See BUSINESS, Page 18 Bret Morey and son, Elijah, with their new Elijah's X-Treme hot sauce vending machine. (photos by MEP/CF Media) A look inside Elijah's X-Treme's new warehouse. Father, son entrepreneurs expand business again

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