Pittsboro-based Cackalacky providing blueprint for small business success

Sean Coffey Image
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Cackalacky providing blueprint for small business success in Pittsboro
A local company that started as a side-hustle decades ago is now employing people all across the state and expanding more every day.

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- The latest installment of ABC11's Boomtown series features a homegrown brand branching out across the state.

Launched as a sauce company in a Chapel Hill kitchen in 2001, Pittsboro-based Cackalacky has grown to employ hundreds of people statewide -- and built partnerships with iconic brands like Cheerwine, Costco and the University of North Carolina.

"It's just a real honor for us to see the way people respond to our brand," said Page Skelton, co-founder of the company.

Cackalacky started making sauces more than 20 years ago, and now the brand is featured on peanuts, beer, merchandise, dog treats and more. The company's BBQ sauce can be found at retailers like Costco and Harris Teeter from Florida to Kentucky, and Skelton said the impact the brand has created is pretty sweet, too.

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"It's just something that started as a side hustle 20-some-odd years ago, and it's just really neat and now we employ people all across the state," Skelton said.

From Henderson to Goldsboro, and several spots in between, hundreds of people now work to bottle and brew Cackalacky sauce, pack their peanuts, can their beer, and print tee shirts and hats.

All of it's based in a new, 5,000-square-foot facility in Pittsboro.

"We really feel as if with the amount of people who flow through this area for their jobs, for vacationing, for their education, that it's a hotspot of the country," said Caroline Skelton, Page's wife and the company's other co-founder.

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She believes their recent physical expansion has made it possible for the company to strike deals with those large retail sellers.

"It has set us on such a success path, I feel, because we can take in more inventory, we can take on larger clients and more of that demand," Caroline said.

In downtown Pittsboro, town officials have taken notice, too.

"We love to see local jobs, we love to see local business owners," said Colby Sawyer, a spokesperson for the town. "It's great to see the town can be an incubator and kind of the center of that."

Sawyer said the town hopes Cackalacky's success can be a blueprint for more homegrown businesses in a rapidly growing area.

"We're glad that we can foster business growth and business development, and we're growing. And we hope that these businesses come in and grow with us," Sawyer said.

Check out more stories of growth and success across central North Carolina with more stories in our Boomtown collection.