, Salem, MA


January 15, 2014

Pot pie business is kickin' it

Rothwell looks to expand from two to five stores in area

The chicken pot pie business is sizzling here in Salem.

Owner/chef Ken Rothwell, 47, opened his first Ken’s Kickin’ Chicken, selling handmade chicken pies, on North Street in 2011. Now he has a fledgling chain.

In September, he expanded to a second location at the corner of Maple and Chestnut streets (Route 129) in Lynn. Last week, he signed a lease and started construction on a third location, in West Peabody, in Bonkers Plaza on Lowell Street.

Rothwell, a Merrimac resident who grew up in Salem’s low-income Point neighborhood, plans to have five retail stores open by fall and is already scouting locations in Revere and Reading. Someday, he says, his dream would be to open a Ken’s Kickin’ Chicken in Sarasota, Fla.

The first store was an extension of his custom catering business and was meant to keep his employees off unemployment in the winter when catering jobs dried up.

“I figured if I could sell 10, 20 chicken pot pies a day, I could keep everybody working, you know. And, now, we sell anywhere from 500 to 800 a day,” he said.

He employs 43 people, about half of whom are full time, and plans to hire another six to 10 full-time workers in the next two months. Before he started Kickin’ Chicken, just four employees worked full time, he said.

Although the catering business is going strong — he has 60 weddings booked so far for this year — it is the chicken pot-pie business that is booming.

The large chicken pot pies weigh in at 5 pounds each and can feed up to six people. They retail for $21. The store also sells small, individual pies for $6.95. The pies are made by hand from fresh ingredients, using Bell & Evans chicken. They have a shelf life of about four days, after which they can be frozen for longer storage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech High-flying Tech Stocks a Concern for Investors "Heartbleed" Bug Puts Internet Security at Risk AP Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Toyota Recalls 1.8M Vehicles in the US Comcast Executive: 'Merger Not a Problem' Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Employers Add 192K Jobs; Rate Stays at 6.7 Pct Senators Press Barra About GM's Delay in Recall More Americans See Middle Class Status Slipping GM CEO Faces House Hearing on Recall NHTSA: GM Should 'Fix Vehicles Quickly' GM's CEO Testifies on Faulty Ignition Switches Owner, Families Share Cobalt Stories Jury Selection Begins in Apple-Samsung Case BMW Plans $1 Billion Expansion in South Carolina
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Comments Trcker