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Sevier County restaurant supply company soars during the pandemic

As Katom continues to grow, Bible said a new expansion project is in the works.
Published: May. 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 3:15 PM EDT
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KODAK, Tenn. (WVLT) - During a time when thousands of businesses suffered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one Sevier County company saw its best year yet.

Katom, a restaurant supply company in Kodak did so well despite the pandemic, that it now has plans to expand and hire an additional 100 employees. The moving of restaurant equipment out to customers has become a big business for the Sevierville company.

“What we really focused on was having inventory because we knew that there would be a group of people that still had to have food supplies so look at the hospitals, look at our nursing home facilities,” said Katom Owner Patricia Bible. “Our senior living facilities, everywhere you are associated with -there’s food.”

Bibles told WVLT News the company’s biggest challenge last year was getting the products. But by taking the risk of stocking up, Katom ended up having what customers were looking for when other businesses didn’t.

“And freight issues have been mammoth in our industry. So orders that we were supposed to have received in March, are now finally beginning to arrive at our dock,” said Bible.

As Katom continues to grow, Bible said a new expansion project is in the works.

“What’s next? At Katom it is absolutely amazing. By August, first we will have opened our new office center which will house 100 new associates. We also will have expanded our ecommerce presence which also will house 100 associates,” said Bible.

Bible said she is excited to see what 2021 will bring for Katom. She credits all her awards and her most recent induction into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame to her team.

“This award goes to my team. They make me look so good, and they make it so easy for me to lead, and I mean from our distribution center to our senior staff, it is just amazing,” she said.

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