by Ardie Arvidson
Restaurateur Dale Barth is the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business Person of the Year. Barth is owner of Red Bone Alley and a partner is Town Hall restaurants, both in Florence.
The announcement was made before a sold-out crowd Thursday, October 10 at the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Luncheon held at the Florence Center.
The Business Person of the Year is someone who has “managed a successful business with a record of responsibility toward employees, customers and members of the greater Florence community,” said Mike Miller, the chamber president.
He was introduced to the restaurant industry while attending the College of Charleston. After college, he went to work for a small eastern North Carolina based group, where he learned operational and management skills.
In 1992, he purchased PAs Restaurant in Florence. He honed his skills and developed a second restaurant, using his own concept, design and creativity. He took the old JC Penny department store at the Florence Mall and turned it into a restaurant that he named after his daughter, Alley, and her Red Bone hound dog. It is a recreation of an alley you might find in old Charleston.
Red Bone Alley has become a landmark in Florence and is popular with locals and those passing through Florence. The restaurant features locally sourced food and South Carolina cuisine.
Barth employs more than 100 people.
In 2001, Red Bone Alley was presented the South Carolina’s Job Creator of the Year Award.
Barth continued to expand his Red Bone brand and opened a manufacturing business of specialty spices and sauces.
“Red Bone Foods was one of the first private investments in the revitalization efforts of downtown Florence,” said Wells Fargo executive Robb Sasser, who introduced the Business Person of the Year.
Sasser said Barth converted an old abandoned building into an industrial kitchen and food packaging area that not only produces and packages Red Bone branded products but also products for other boutique food companies, supplying 6,000 grocery stores.
Barth also is an investor in New Florence Development, the partnership that redeveloped Kress Corner.
Barth and The Indigo Road Hospitality Group from Charleston developed and opened Town Hall Restaurant in downtown Florence. Operated by the Indigo Road Group, Town Hall has provided Florence with yet another unique dining option that has contributed to the rebirth of downtown, Sasser said.
Sasser said Barth is not one who seeks the limelight or accolades but has quietly given back to this area in many ways. He fed several hundred city and county employees free meals during hurricanes Matthew, Michael and Florence.
He supports many nonprofits and is the recipient of the Florence Building Bridges Humanitarian Award and The Clara Barton Award from the American Red Cross.
In 2016, he received an Entrepreneurial Award from Florence-Darlington Technical College.
The Barths’ daughter, Alley, is a Charleston attorney. And their son, Griffin, manages the RedBone Foods operations.
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