Craig Day, News On 6
CLEVELAND, Oklahoma -- With the summer grilling season well underway, you may want to try an Oklahoma creation that's sure to tempt your taste buds.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day recently went to Cleveland to find out more about Daddy Hinkle's.
"It's the blend. You can look on the ingredients, and you can see what's in it, it's the fact of how they come together," Lee Merrifield said.
With Daddy Hinkle's marinade and all natural seasoning, you'll get great flavor, and also a taste of Oklahoma ingenuity.
"Really we just have a great company," Merrifield said.
The company's been around for 16 years, but Lee Merrifield says Daddy Hinkle's got its start with her great granddad.
J. Frank Hinkle was an oil man during the boom days.
"He cooked out all the time for all the people that worked with him," she said.
Hinkle cooked with his special creation well into his 90's. The family decided to market the secret blend and a business was born.
"It started in one grocery store, and put it on the shelf, and it didn't sell at all. And my Dad realized this isn't going to be really easy like we thought," Merrifield said.
After learning a whole lot about marketing, and with hard work, sales have grown from nine cases that first year, to 25,000 cases annually. It's sold mostly in stores in Oklahoma and the Midwest, but more locations are being added coast to coast.
"Nice steady growth over time. That's our philosophy," said Merrifield
Merrifield is proud of the taste, and the tradition, but also in the creation of a company which is good to employees, and that has overcome hurdles.
"We have an Oklahoma sensibility, let's put it that way," she said. "In the way that we run our company and the way we value our customers. And we really have a one-on-one personal relationship; I would say we're a very Oklahoma company."
It's an Oklahoma seasoning success story. So when you fire up the grill for your next cookout, you may want to invite Daddy Hinkle's to the party.
If you have an inspirational, unique, or fun story idea, or maybe one about an interesting Oklahoman, email News On 6 anchor Craig Day at Oklahomafirstname.lastname@example.org.