Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Calling all Western New Yorkers in Florida: Sahlen's hot dogs could come to Publix

If you grew up in Western New York, you know hot dogs — Sahlen's hot dogs.

When you're in Buffalo, it's unlikely you'll find any other brand of dogs sold from beach stands, food carts or local fast-food joints.

Sahlen's is king.

Buffalo expats in Florida, rejoice. The hot dog you grew up eating soon may be on Publix's shelves, according to The Buffalo News. The newspaper reported on Friday that Publix is in talks with the beloved hot dog brand about carrying the wieners in stores.

Publix officials tweeted they don't have any "confirmed plans" to sell Sahlen's foot-longs. But The News' story gives anyone in Tampa Bay reminiscing about eating a Sahlen's hot dog while watching a Bisons baseball game some hope.

Transplants and snowbirds have been known to pack coolers full of the Buffalo-made dogs and drive them cross country — they say the pork hot dogs are really that good.

The company began a trial selling the hot dogs at Harris Teeter grocery stores in Charlotte, N.C., and at Fry's stores in Arizona. They chose Charlotte because of the region's large population of Western New York transplants.

The company told The News it gets 40 emails a week from customers requesting Sahlen's products in other markets. But Mark S. Battistoni, Sahlen's vice president of sales and marketing, is being careful as the company expands.

"As a company, growth is a wonderful thing. But you have to grow effectively, so we're doing it on a market-by-market basis," he told The Buffalo News.

Sounds promising.

Now, if only it could be easier to get Bison dip ... or Tim Hortons.

Contact Sara DiNatale (a proud Buffalonian) at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

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