Football fans in Miami Gardens' Hard Rock Stadium may be eating hot dogs from Buffalo next year. Sahlen's has completed a major deal with the Publix supermarket chain to sell their red hots.
Publix operates more than 1,100 stores in the southeastern United States, many of them in Florida. To help meet increased demand, Sahlen's is planning a $7 million expansion of its East Side manufacturing facility. The Howard Street expansion was approved by Buffalo's Planning Board Monday.
Company President Joe Sahlen said he currently ships to 18 states and that market is growing.
"These out-of-town markets tend to take some time to develop, but we're seeing probably 10,000-15,000 pounds shipping weekly, which is pretty good this time of year because ordinarily you would think that their season is in the winter time, somewhat the opposite of us," Sahlen said.
Sahlen said the key element is a large high-pressure packing machine, which makes sure the meat products will stay safe on the shelf for even longer than the 60 days the company currently targets. As the meat products leave the machine, they will go into a new refrigerated warehouse area.
He said it is the largest investment in the nearly 150-year history of the family-owned company. The plan is to have the machine and facility up and running by the end of December.