Perry's pork rinds

GREG LOWER

BRONSON — An Allen County business has a chance to put the town of Bronson in the national spotlight.

Perry’s Pork Rinds has received confirmation to pitch its products on the television show Shark Tank. The audition for the ABC network show will be Feb. 21 at KCMO television station in Kansas City.

Perry’s Pork Rinds takes orders online for flavors in one-gallon, 1/2-pound bags sold at local festivals, group fundraisers and rodeos. Flavors include spicy, ranch, barbecue, cinnamon-sugar, sour cream and onion, chili lime, and cheddar cheese. 

“We’re definitely not reinventing the wheel,” company founder Kelly Perry said.

Orders received by midnight CST on Wednesdays are cooked on Thursdays and ready for pick up or shipping Fridays nationwide via USPS.

Thaddeus and Kelly Perry started the company in 2017. Kelly said she started the company as a side business because she needed money, and has since sold more than 140,000 pounds of rinds.

They produce the product at their home in Bronson, located halfway between Iola and Fort Scott.

She got the idea because she is a gastric bypass patient and missed eating certain foods. Her husband Thaddeus suggested adding flavors to pork rinds, and they experimented to create the current line.

The Shark Tank pitch will fund a US Department of Agriculture-approved meat plant and bagging equipment. The pork rinds will still be cooked and seasoned by hand.

With the plant, they will be able to wholesale the product and 93 stores in Kansas and Missouri have expressed interest. They have been vendors at Artist Alley and have done pop-up sales in Chanute, and Dick Liquor may sell on shelves.

Kelly said they had leased a building that did not work out, and have an offer on a Fort Scott building. She said they have been self-sustaining and have worked without loans, so they are looking at Kickstarter if the Shark Tank pitch does not work.

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