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Drive business growth with rural America marketing insights

Are you ready for actionable marketing insight you can apply to help you reach, connect and convert rural American consumers? Hop in the front seat as you’ll be riding shotgun with Cliff Callis, your OUTdrive host, as he takes you down the road to success.

Apr 26, 2022

Small business owners have an inherent responsibility to be active and invested in their community. That’s especially true for OUTdrive guest John Kehde, who took his passion and civic duty to the highest commitment, serving and eventually leading the local government for the city of Sedalia. In this episode, John takes listeners back in time, giving a guided history of the city of Sedalia, Kehde’s Barbeque and his career span from the military to a restaurateur to a small-town mayor. 

John is a local business owner and most recently served as the mayor of Sedalia. He has lived in Sedalia since his parents moved here in 1947. After serving in the Vietnam War and living in Denmark during his stint in the military, John, and his wife Chelsea, returned to Sedalia. John took over the family restaurant, Dog N’ Suds, and rebranded it to Kehde’s Barbeque. Along with running a family business, John served as a city councilman early in his career, and in 2018, he was elected mayor of Sedalia, and recently retired from that role.  He is a Smith-Cotton High School alum and studied at the University of Missouri before going into the military.

Tune into this episode to hear all about his amazingly diverse life story and you’ll soon discover why every day is “the best day ever” for John. 

What you’ll learn: 

  • John’s background and the origin story of Dog N’ Suds
  • What it was like growing up in Sedalia back in the 1960’s
  • John’s story of being drafted into the military, meeting his wife, Chelsea, and their experience living in Denmark during the Vietnam War
  • How John made the necessary decision to transition the family restaurant to a barbeque joint after the fast-food chains came to town
  • How the now-famous railcar came to be home at Kehde’s
  • What attracted John to local government and ultimately serve on city council
  • How John’s passion for his community and neighborhood prompted him to run for mayor some 30 years later
  • The revitalization of Sedalia neighborhoods and what the city is doing to help clean up and revitalize areas of town