New Dogs in Downtown

Ryan and Carla Tate recently brought a unique concept to Petal on May 9, when they opened South Miss Hot Dogs and Hand Pies at 107 Morris Street.
The eatery offers several varieties of gourmet hot dogs, including the Cuban Dog, Western BBQ, N.Y. Street Dog and the Plain Dog. On the hand pies side, the Tates switch up between sweet and savory pies, such as Granny Smith Apple, Pot Roast, Sausage Jalapeno Popper and Blueberry Cream Cheese.
The shop is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Tates are currently working out of a food trailer in front of the store, with plans to have the store completely remodeled and ready to go in the very near future.
Ryan Tate recently took some time over the phone to talk about setting up shop in Petal.

Q: What made you want to open this kind of business in Petal?
A: I’m actually from California and my wife’s from Mississipppi … and I left my job to come here. I’m a veteran, so I have a working disability from the Army. We bought a food truck and started traveling around, and as we were driving by I saw the building for sale. I said, ‘well, why don’t we just buy the building and sell the food truck?’ So we did, and in the meantime we bought us a little food trailer. We used the money from the food truck for the trailer and the building, and for the last eight or nine months, I’ve remodeled (the building). So we’re making money with the food trailer while we’re (getting the building ready).

Q: What has the customer feedback/response been like so far?
A: It’s been really good. We open at 11 o’clock, and people start showing up at 10 o’clock in the morning, and we’re not turning them down. We just sell them the pies and the hot dogs, and we’ve been selling out like 15 minutes before we open. On the one hand it’s good, because we’re selling out, but I don’t want to turn people away (after we sell out) because I feel bad about that. But once we’re in the shop, we’ll be able to cook all day, so hopefully that problem will be solved.

Q: How do you feel about the community in Petal?
A: Everyone has been awesome and so positive. They’re posting on Facebook and Instagram about us and saying good things. I’m meeting a lot of friends who are business acquaintances, and they’re helping me and I’m helping them. So it’s been really good. I haven’t had any negativity whatsoever, so it’s been really cool.

Q: You recently became a member of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce. What made you want to do that, and what benefits have you seen from it?
A: The Greenhills at Babe’s BBQ have been real helpful in giving me advice, and they kind of told me it’s a good idea to join. I went online and joined, and immediately Mrs. Valerie (Wilson, executive director of the chamber) sent some info on a festival, so I got in on that, and that’s helping. We’re mentioned on the website and everything, so it’s been giving us good promotion so far.

By: Haskell Burns
Photo:Cayla Camp Burns