Sevier County restaurant supply business soars during pandemic

KODAK, Tenn. (WVLT) – At a time when thousands of businesses have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Sevier County business had its best year yet.

Katom, a restaurant supply company at Kodak, has done so well despite the pandemic that it now plans to expand and hire 100 more employees. Moving catering equipment to customers has become a big deal for the Sevierville company.

“What we really focused on was having an inventory because we knew there would be a group of people who still needed food, so look at the hospitals, look at our nursing homes,” said Patricia Bible, owner of Katom. “Our seniors’ residences, wherever you are associated, there is food.”

Bibles told WVLT News that the company’s biggest challenge last year was getting the products. But by taking the risk of sourcing, Katom ended up having what customers were looking for, unlike other companies.

“And freight issues have been huge in our industry. So the orders we were supposed to have received in March are finally starting to arrive at our dock,” Bible said.

As Katom continues to grow, Bible said a new expansion project is underway.

“What next? At Katom, it is absolutely amazing. In August, we will first have opened our new office center which will welcome 100 new associates. We will also have expanded our e-commerce presence, which will also welcome 100 associates” , said Bible.

Bible said she was excited to see what 2021 will bring to Katom. She attributes all of her awards and her most recent induction into the Young 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 executives, it’s just amazing,” she said.

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