On Wednesday, May 5, the Personal Finance class took a field to trip to PoBoy’s Restaurant Discount to see what this small business was all about. We were standing in front of an ugly blue machine made of cast iron near the front of the store. It was a pot-bellied contraption with an opening at the top. It was lined with abrasive rock, and we could see that it rotated and used steam from two valves.
“I have a prize for whoever can tell me what this is for,” said Rodney Long, who with Dwayne Christensen owns PoBoy’s Discount. The kids debated for awhile, then T.J. came up with the correct answer. “Is it a potato peeler?” he asked. “Yes,” said Rodney. “We got this bad boy from the Navy.” He then gave T. J. the promised prize—a cafeteria serving spoon.
Finding out that there are industrial potato peelers is just one of many surprises that await the visitor to PoBoy’s. Rodney and Dwayne deal in used restaurant equipment, a service that helps entrepreneurs get started in the restaurant business without laying out a lot of cash for freezers, stoves, and other machinery. Rodney explained that restaurant equipment is built to last and does not depreciate in value that much, so buying used is often the best idea. If the restaurant fails (and up to 50% of them do within five years), PoBoy’s will buy the equipment back to resell. This allows the restaurant to recoup some of its losses.
Among the other weird and wonderful machines we saw were a bun-butterer, a hugely expensive steamer, and stand mixers that can handle a bazillion gallons of batter at one time. There was even an abstract statue of Bob Marley with twisted metal for dreadlocks from the now-defunct Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach.
If you have a hard-to-buy-for friend or family member with a birthday coming up, check out PoBoy’s for a gift. The strange selection of stock always has something no one would ever think of! Thank you, Rodney, for the great tour!