Food truck manager named Goering Center Rising Leader

UC Goering Center news

“Above and beyond” is what comes to mind when hearing about Anton Gaffney, the 2020 honoree of the Goering Center for Family and Private Business’ Rising Leader Award. It’s not just a strong work ethic that the general manager of Sweets & Meats BBQ in Mt. Washington brings to the business, its leadership, passion, savvy, loyalty, commitment and steadfastness.

“He is my right and left arm,” says CEO Kristen Bailey. “It is [his] level of personal sacrifice and commitment that has enabled us to be so successful in a short period of time.”

Sweets & Meats, founded in 2014, is a caterer, takeout restaurant and food truck business. It specializes in smoked meats, homemade side dishes and desserts. It opened its takeout location in July 2017, and today employs 12 people and has two food trucks.

Bailey said Gaffney will often be up at 4 a.m. to work on meat at their store, then gets in the food trailer for a food truck rally where he might be for 10 to 12 hours. The next day, he does it all over again. This hard work translates into top-line growth, and that growth helped keep the company’s staff fully employed throughout this year’s crisis.

Bailey said she consults with Gaffney on every major decision that Sweets & Meats makes, such as whether to purchase a second food truck. But Gaffney’s key strength – aside from cooking – is that he is a major contributor to the business’ bottom line. His attention to detail and preparation ensures the company does not overstaff and that it does not prepare too much food.

“Being able to minimize those costs has been a huge, huge help to our business because anything I don’t go out and serve today, it’s all waste,” Bailey said. “We don’t reheat it. So, it’s not like a typical restaurant where you can actually use that food for five days. We can’t do that.”

“Gaffney is an exceptional planner,” says Bailey. “I can’t do that,” she said. “There’s nobody else in our company that has that skill. It’s all Anton.”

About the award

The Goering Center accepted nominations for its fourth annual Rising Leader Award from Aug. 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. An independent panel of judges selected nine semi-finalists (one for each month from Nov. 2019 to July 2020. Semi-finalists were selected who demonstrated success advancing one of the Center’s “10 Best Practices of Family and Private Business.” To be eligible a nominee must be on a leadership or succession track of a family or private business.

Bailey nominated Gaffney for June under the Center’s best practice of business growth.

Sweets & Meats BBQ is a Goering Center core member, and the Goering Center is sharing this content as part of its Business Courier supplement for the 2020 Family & Private Business Awards. View more of the digital supplement here.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business
Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit

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