(Franklin, TN) The four owners of Famous Five Dining, a Franklin, TN - based restaurant company, have been named Tennessee's Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The four were honored during ceremonies in Washington, DC as part of the celebration of National Small Business Week. Upon their return to Tennessee, they were honored in state ceremonies as well.
"This is like winning an academy award for a small business!" declares Laurel Renegar, Chief Financial Officer and co-owner of FFD.
Renegar's husband, Doug Renegar and their partners Mike and Tamara Lister were each named Tennessee's Small Business Person of the Year, the first time in Tennessee's history that 4 people have been named for the single award.
"We function most often as a single unit," explains Doug. "While we each have different responsibilities in our business, we rarely consider ourselves individually. It's been that way since the beginning."
Famous Five Dining incorporated nearly 11 years ago. The company presently owns and operates five Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Barbecue restaurants in Tennessee, employing 325 people. The company's financial performance and contribution to their community were cited by the SBA as reasons for the owners'selection as Tennessee's winner. FFD has raised over $200,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation over the past few years, and helped hundreds of other charities in their fundraising efforts as well. Additionally, each year over Memorial Day Weekend, the restaurants sponsor Operation Famous Salute, a letter-writing campaign for members of our military serving overseas or recuperating in military hospitals.
"This award is not about us at all," according to Mike. "It's about our team of managers and co-workers who day in and day out do so much more than producing world-class barbecue. They are making an impact on everyone who comes into our restaurants, and everyone we cater to! The Hospitality business is about people. And we've got truly Famous partners in our company!"
While in Washington, the Listers and Renegars had the chance to visit with Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and discuss legislative issues affecting the restaurant industry. They also attended a reception at the U.S. State Department where they visited with other state Small Business Person of the Year winners.
"We came home inspired," says Tamara, "about being a small business. Small businesses employee a majority of Americans. We don't always produce millions of tax dollars for our state or our nation. But we do something as, if not more important. We help people feed, clothe and house their families. And we contribute to the local economy through those individuals, in addition to providing a viable and valuable service to our community. We came home proud to be small business owners."
Famous Five Dining (FFD) is an award-winning franchisee of Famous Dave's of America. FFD is owned by two couples who are life-long friends. The company owns and operates Famous Dave"s restaurants in Middle and East Tennessee. Famous Dave's offers a wide variety of BBQ favorites including signature award-winning ribs and smoked meats, such as St. Louis-Style Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket, Georgia Chopped Pork, Country-Roasted Chicken. The BBQ is slow-smoked for up to 10 long hours over smoldering hickory wood in real pit smokers on premise at each restaurant in the time-honored tradition of the pit masters in the 'Ole South. Each seasoning blend was personally developed by Dave himself after years of trial and error to bring flavorful and authentic BBQ to his Guests. Scratch-recipes round out the menu with delicious sides and desserts that include meaty Wilbur Beans, Drunkin' Apples, and Dave's Famous Bread Pudding. A Lil' Wilbur Kid's Menu includes classic kid favorites, such as Macaroni & Cheese, and Chicken Tenders.