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Mastering Business Fundamentals in Competitive Kansas City Home Services Industry

hidden-dog-fences-Mike-Church

Announcer:
Live from the KC Property Guys and KC Pier Studio in beautiful Kansas City, home to over 200 fountains and more barbecue restaurants per capita than anywhere in the nation, it’s the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders Show, a show about industry leaders from the local Kansas City metro market, for Kansas City real estate related professionals and enthusiasts like you. And now, here’s your hosts, Eric and Lucas Scheele.

Lucas Scheele:
How’s it going, everybody? And welcome back to the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders Podcast. My name is Lucas Scheele, and I’m here with my co-host Eric Scheele. How are you doing today?

Eric Scheele:
I’m doing well. How about you?

Lucas Scheele:
I’m doing all right. And then luckily, we also have Mike Church with Pet DeFence in here in the studio today. He’s going to give us a little bit of the lowdown on his product. You want to take this off?

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, absolutely. We are happy to have Mike Church with Pet DeFence in the studio with us today. And keep in mind, we are Kansas City real estate industry leaders, and so what does Pet DeFence have to do with Kansas City real estate industry leaders? Well, guess what? We talk about anything related to real estate, and home services obviously is a huge piece of what we do. We brought in the leader in hidden fence installation and training in Kansas City, in the metro area, with Mike Church and Pet DeFence.

Eric Scheele:
We’re happy to have you in studio.

Mike Church:
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Eric Scheele:
Good, good. We’re going to … For your education, we put you on the hot seat here for about 15-20 minutes, and so we’re going to run down some questions and have some people get to know you and what you do and how you’re related to Pet DeFence specifically. And then, obviously, working with real estate and in the home services industry, but we look forward to getting to know you and having you in studio. And talking about some of the things that you do and how it relates to what we do with real estate as KC Property Guys and KCPG Realty Group. You ready to get this kicked off?

Mike Church:
Yeah, let’s do it.

History of PetDefence

Eric Scheele:
Okay. We always start with everybody, we ask them, “What’s your story?” How’d it all get started, and what have you done up to this point? Have you been in Pet DeFence and hidden fences since the beginning of your career, or is this an evolution of things? What’s taken place?

Mike Church:
This is definitely an evolution. I don’t think you go, graduate from college with an accounting degree and say, “Okay, I’m going to sell dog fences and train dogs all day.” It’s definitely evolved. I fell into it about four years ago. I had a good friend who, I was looking for a career change, and he suggested that I contact the owner of Pet DeFence.

Mike Church:
I did that, and his name was Roger McCoy. Roger’s still with the company, and Roger and I talked. He had an incredible marketing following as far as, he had never had a bad review. And I’ve worked in a lot of different companies with a lot of different industries. Everybody seems to mess up. Everybody messes up once, right? For him, in his industry, not to have any mistakes and have all five star reviews on Google and have Angie’s List, and he’s won it the last seven or eight years, for the Super Service Award for the Top Service Company.

Mike Church:
Everything fell into place. I’m like, “Well, this seems like a great company to work for.” They do everything right. You don’t have to bring a lot of change in. And I had a lot of experience in sales. I come from an accounting background, so I can do the business side as well. I felt like I was able to learn the company and the industry, and just take it all in and evolve with it. And add my experience and my marketing skills and sales skills and whatnot to it.

Eric Scheele:
It’s always nice to join a leader in an industry, regardless of what industry you are in, because the opportunity to learn is expansive and you’re learning. You know, when you have someone who is leading an industry is doing something and doing something right.

Mike Church:
Oh yeah. I came from the audio/video industry. I did that for over 15 years, and we’re selling … It was a race to zero. You see TVs now for $89, and we used to sell them for $1,000. Guess what? That margin goes away. He had a product and, more importantly, he had a service and the ability to service his customers, and he did everything right.

Mike Church:
It was, it was an easy decision. It was the top, by far the top, company in the industry here locally. And it’s survived for 25 years. He’s been around since the mid-90s. In every industry, there’s always companies that come in and come out, and ease of entry into an industry, they’re all different. But to survive that long and still be on top is pretty amazing.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, absolutely. He’s a survivor, you’ve taken under your wing four years ago.

Mike Church:
Right.

Eric Scheele:
And so where are you today with Pet DeFence? Because it’s been a four year run.

PetDefence Today

Mike Church:
It’s been a four year run. I’m part owner, and we have grown those last four years. A lot of our sales over those years … We’ve created a sales process, and we’ve implemented some techniques and some marketing ideas he had. He already had 70 vets that endorsed him exclusively, so we’ve added to that. We’ve added to Google to where now we have over 140 five star reviews. We don’t have a four star review out there or anything less.

Lucas Scheele:
Knock on wood.

Mike Church:
Yeah, knock on wood. As I say that, somebody’s going to, “Hey, we’re going to throw one out there just to mess you up.”

Eric Scheele:
Yeah right. No, no, no, we don’t wish that on anybody.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, not at all.

What Are We Going to Do With Our Dog?

Mike Church:
But we’ve added on the sales, and our sales have grown each and every year for the last four years. A lot of that, one of the things that I would like to expand on, is with agents. We’ve worked with agents a little bit, and a lot of our sales come from people moving from a fenced-in backyard, where they’ve had one or two dogs, to now they want to buy this property but, “What are we going to do with our dogs?” And a lot of people, their dogs are their children.

Lucas Scheele:
I know with me it is.

Mike Church:
Yeah, yeah. And so we get a lot of phone calls. There’s a lot of nervousness and a lot of insecurity and, “Is this going to work?” I tell people, “We’ve been doing this for 25 years. We’ve only had one dog that we couldn’t keep in, and it was a 200 pound, almost 200 pound German Shepherd, that went from 80 acres to five acres. It was a lot. It’s a long story, but nonetheless, we did everything we could.

Eric Scheele:
By the way, I’d be the same way. You can’t contain me.

Lucas Scheele:
[crosstalk 00:07:07]. That’s crazy.

Eric Scheele:
You’re not going to drop me.

Mike Church:
And it’s funny. People, the perception is we’re going to come out, I’m going to shock your dog, and your dog’s going to scream and do back flips and just hate me. It’s completely opposite. The training has evolved, and our program, that’s one of the things that we’ve developed is just the training aspect of it. We’ve evolved it from a, “Go take your dog out and shock him at a high level,” to, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going over there again,” to slowly raising that correction level and letting them understand that the yard’s a fun, safe, happy place. And so it’s never what people perceive. Every time I train, the dogs come up next to me afterwards, and they’re rubbing their nose up against my hand. They want to be pet, and just love the fact that … Yeah.

Pet DeFence & Home Buyers

Eric Scheele:
You’ve touched upon it quite a bit actually, and you’ve worked. Now you’ve also touched upon about what we do here in our house, in KCPG, Kansas City Property Guys, is you’re working a lot with realtors as well as vets as your channels. And, of course, we have realtors on staff with KCPG Realty Group. We do a lot of listings, but I assume what you’re working with on the real estate side is probably a lot of buyers, buyers entering the house.

Mike Church:
Correct.

Eric Scheele:
And it’s like their honeymoon. If you’re going to spend money, one of the things that you’re probably going to spend money on is the kids and the house, so like you said, these pets are kids. Containing the kids, either through a fence or even if it’s not a fence, I assume a front yard is involved and a street’s involved. There’s fear of losing one of your kids, “kids,” dogs to a traffic path that they’re not familiar with.

Mike Church:
Correct.

Eric Scheele:
And so, obviously, there’s got to be some containment concern there. My question with that is what happens with, because this is hidden fencing, right?

Mike Church:
Yes.

How The Hidden Fence Works to Keep Dog Safe

Eric Scheele:
But it’s a buried line. It’s not the radio-controlled type stuff or-

Mike Church:
No, it is not a wireless system. We bury the wire, and there’s quite a few reasons. The best reason is because it always works, and you can’t have a mistake in this scenario where its wireless system is like your wireless phone.

Eric Scheele:
You drop calls?

Mike Church:
Yeah, you drop a call, you drop internet. If it works 98%, that’s great for most things, but if your dog escapes in that 2% and God forbid gets out, then you’ve got a problem. We bury the wire. We bury it about four inches deep, so we’re not burying it too deep. We take all the safety precautions. We contact all the One Digs and make sure that they come out and mark all the utilities. We’re not necessarily worried about electrical and gas and what have you, but we want to make sure that we follow the correct procedures and take every safety precaution that we need to so we don’t cause more problems.

Eric Scheele:
Absolutely. Quick question though: Obviously, front yards specifically have driveways, so how do you work around the concrete or things that are physical barriers to a physical line versus the wireless version?

Installation Procedure is Simple

Mike Church:
That’s a good question, and people don’t ever really … Every phone call you get, very rarely do they want to do the front yard. They just want to do the backyard. I have to tell them there’s a procedure involved. The wire has to start and stop at the same spot. It’s got to complete a circuit or a loop to continue that signal.

Mike Church:
That being said, more times than not, it’s cheaper for the end-user to get the front yard like you’re talking about and the backyard. It is less money to do both the front and the backyard than it would to be just the backyard, probably 95% of the times, just because the front yard is smaller. When we do come to the driveway, it’s a pretty simple procedure.

Mike Church:
We just do a small cut, in and out, in the existing joins. We’ll bury the wire in there and seal it back up, so the customer and we can’t even tell where it is. I go back a year later, and I have no idea where it is. I have to use a tracking device to see it. It’s secured in there, and then it lasts for years typically. We’ve got fences that are over 20 years old that we’ve never had issues with. They last, they can last a long time. They’ll last, usually, they’ll outlast the life of the dog.

Eric Scheele:
And God forbid, but assuming most people are going to replace that dog anyway, you’re just dealing with a different generation, which is a strength in terms of a compliment to your company saying that you’re multi-generational in its effect as well.

Mike Church:
We do, we do get a lot … We have a couple of customers, I think we’re on their third generation, that we’ve gone from grandmother to son to … yeah, so we’ve stepped down. And the nice thing about our system is, when you move, you can’t take a physical fence with you. And we’re not going to come out and dig up your wire, but whoever moves into your house can use that existing wire.

Mike Church:
And then you’re welcome, and that’s up to the real estate agents and what they work out on the deal, there’s a transmitter control piece. Typically, it will go in the garage, and that’s your property. The colors are your property, so you can take all the equipment when you move from house A to house B, and then all you need is the wire. You’ve already got part of the solution, and that can continue down the road as you continue to move.

Eric Scheele:
And I assume, we’ve got 140 five star reviews, and we’ve got a company that’s been in business 25 years. You’re obviously now a co-partner in this business for the last few, and part of it as four, but you’ve developed these channels through realtors and vets. The realtor’s parts I get.

Referrals from Vets

Eric Scheele:
The vets, now I’m just thinking through here, is the vets are recommending you because the owners are bringing in a puppy or a new dog or a new client, and with the new client comes, “Hey, there’s a containment system that’s probably needed.” Is that it? Or where do the vets … It sounds like you’ve been really ingrained with vets for awhile.

Mike Church:
We’ve been ingrained with vets for years, and I think a big part of that is, when you go get a puppy, you have to go get the initial shots. And then you’re trying to find solutions. You’re trying to figure out, “Okay, what kind of dog food do I get for my dog?” And then it becomes, “How do I contain my dog? What do I do? What’s the safest way to keep my dog in the yard?”

Safer for Dog than Fences

Mike Church:
We’re actually safer than existing fences, because … I would say one in five installs is inside of an existing fence because the dog goes underneath the fence or goes through the rails or jumps over or it digs. We’ve had dogs pull off the wooden parts of a fence to get out. We’re actually safer. Our security record is a lot better than any physical fence. We don’t have to worry about some kid opening the gate or the utility guy coming in to run something and forgetting to close it, and your dog gets out.

Lucas Scheele:
That actually happens a lot.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, totally.

Lucas Scheele:
Especially when we did pest control? That was one of the biggest things, especially if the homeowner isn’t home, you’ve got to get to that backyard and make sure that you close that fence after, especially if they’ve had dogs. Because then you’re going to have a big issue with the homeowner.

Eric Scheele:
The containment, good point, good talking point. The containment system inside a physical fence actually adds, as a preventative barrier in case of a mess-up, either by Johnny or Susie or the-

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, any guy to come in, the service person.

Eric Scheele:
… the pest control guy, service person. And I assume there’s some type of pre-warning? Because you can’t just hit that fence. There has to be a range that these guys … and how does that process work?

How a Dog is Trained with PetDefence

Mike Church:
That’s a good question. When the wire’s installed, and it is, it’s going to prevent the dog from getting to the fence in that range. And we can set the range, how much signal that wire will put out. Typically we’ll set it around four to five feet, so once the dog gets within five feet of that fence, it’s going to wear the collar, and then it’s going to hear a beep.

Mike Church:
It’s an audible beep. There’s no correction with that initially. Once the dog hears that beep, we train them and we’re going to train you how to get the dog to back away because the dog’s not going to want to listen to that beep for too much longer. We set our collars to have a delay of about half a second.

Mike Church:
That’s enough time for even a 14-year-old dog that’s limping along, to hear the beep and go, “Okay, I’ve got to go the other way.” And if they move the other way, nothing happens. We’ll typically just set that range at about five feet inside where that wire is, four to five feet. They have to stay … If they continue on that path, then they’re going to get that correction. And again, the correction level, I bring it to every customer and I let them, offer to feel it.

Mike Church:
Most people can’t feel it, the initial. It’s almost like a vibrate or a tingle. It’s not electrocution, where you’re shaking and thinking, “This is a horrible thing.” It’s a thing where you’re like, “Okay, I can feel that.” And so that’s where we want to start. We almost want it to be an annoyance for the dog. The dog walks over there and is like, “I don’t like that. I think I’m going to back away.”

Two Way Training: The Dog & the Owner

Eric Scheele:
I want to unpack two things here because you’ve mentioned one comment that I’m not even sure you realized you mentioned, but I heard it, and I think it’s a really good talking point. But first of all, you’re also talking about, I assume there are levels of correction because you’re talking about a tingle to something upgraded. But also, here’s the funny part that I think is funny, but it sounded as if you are training not only the dog, but you’re training the homeowners as well because you mentioned that there’s training involved in two ways.

Mike Church:
Well, and that’s a great observation because I did say that. That is probably the most important thing. We’ll install the wire, and one of the nice things about us is our installer’s been with us for 15 years, and that’s more than all … How often do you get a service guy? And he’s a perfectionist. When I say perfectionist, it’s amazing. Every staple is the exact same distance away. He takes pride and joy in each and every job, and he does. They’re perfect. I’ve never heard one person say anything bad about him. But once that’s installed, we’ll come out and we’re going to train with both the owner and the dog. We’re going to spend about 90 minutes, and we’re going to teach the owner what to do.

Eric Scheele:
That’s good though. 90 minutes with the dog, two hours with the owner.

Mike Church:
Yes.

Eric Scheele:
Is that how it works?

Mike Church:
Kind of. And we tell the owners, when the system doesn’t work, it can be tied back to, probably 99% of the time, to the training process. They didn’t go through the training. It’s not a magic wire, and that’s what I tell people. It’s not, “Hey, we’re just going to put the wire in, put the collar on the dog, let him go outside. He’s going to figure it out. Good to go.” It doesn’t work like that.

Mike Church:
Once again, we’ve developed our training calendar for over 25 years, so we’ve got a pretty good record, and we know what to do. And I train almost every day. I can work with a dog for 10 or 15 minutes, and I can determine, “Okay, here’s where this dog’s going to start out at. Here’s the final correction level.” And we do have to get it high enough eventually, so if they see a squirrel or a rabbit or another dog or a person, whatever the may be-

Eric Scheele:
Right, the instinct kicks in.

Mike Church:
Yeah, when that adrenaline kicks in, and they’re like, “I’m going to go after that,” they have to know, “Hey, I got to stop right here.”

Eric Scheele:
Hear the beep.

Mike Church:
And it’s amazing. I got a call the other day from a guy that has two hunting dogs, and he goes, “I didn’t think this was going to work. I thought it was a waste of my money, and my wife wanted to do it. I said okay.” And he goes, “This thing works perfectly.” He goes, “My dogs go full speed, and then when they get on that wire, they just shove the brakes on and they stop.” It becomes a process, and they love it outside. They still can be outside and they can still be a dog. We don’t ever want to take any of that part away, but we do have to train the owners.

Mike Church:
We sit down with them and go over, “Here’s what you need to do.” We give them a little calendar and say, “On day six, here’s what you need to do.” It lasts a couple of weeks, and we’re there to support them. If they have questions or concerns, they call us. If they follow the procedures and what we ask them to do, 99.9, I guess, percent of the time, it works. It’s just a matter of doing that training and going through that process.

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Eric Scheele:
We ask typically a lot of structured questions with some of our guests, but you really have touched upon a lot of it that I’ve pulled out just by letting you talk, and it has been fantastic. You’ve talked about, for those that are interested and intrigued about contacting Mike and Pet DeFence, and even comparing your strengths versus maybe some of your weaknesses and things that you’ve learned over 25 years to perfect these 140 Google reviews, which sounds fantastic. And a lot of things work in your favor, which is great news.

Eric Scheele:
That’s why we bring people like you into the studios, because we want to pick the brains of, regardless of the business, guess what? It’s still, it’s business, and it comes down to how you treat people, regardless of whether we’re doing it on our side with KC Pier, KC Property Guys, or Pet DeFence. Or any of our guests that we have lined up that are working with customers, or even business to business.

Review System & How You Treat People

Eric Scheele:
It’s how you treat people, because of people … And we talk about this a lot, Lucas, in our talks with specifically KC Property Guys is Google’s a great mediator and review tool. And if you want to really compare, and people do this naturally, if you really want to compare yourself to the competition, which all consumers are going to do anyway-

Lucas Scheele:
You can. You can.

Eric Scheele:
It is a couple clicks away, and it’s a quick three-second assessment of, “Oh, there’s five stars. There are three stars. Guess who I’m going to call?”

Lucas Scheele:
I’d rather the five.

Eric Scheele:
It becomes extremely obvious, so Google working in your favor, and power to Google and its ability to bring that information so quickly for people to assess, definitely can work in your favor as an industry leader. Good assessment, really neat. I enjoyed listening to everything you have because, at the end of the day, it’s how you treat people, how you work with dogs and, “This is our specialty and how we do it.” But it’s all built around just basic taking care of your customers, and in this case, it’s a canine customer as well as a humanoid. You’re working with both.

Lucas Scheele:
Humanoid.

Educating the Customer on the Hidden Dog Fence

Eric Scheele:
You’re working with both, and you’re training both. We don’t necessarily say that. We do a lot of education. I guess, in a way, we train. We educate.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, we definitely educate, definitely educate.

Eric Scheele:
Especially with KC Pier. Our guys at KC Pier educate homeowners in the black box of a foundation. How many people get panicky when they start to see a crack in the wall? We have come in-

Lucas Scheele:
Or they have water in their basement.

Eric Scheele:
Educate where that’s coming from, what’s the pros and cons and, “Here are the different types of fixes.” Education is a big part of it, but you’re actually training on how to use a tool, which is somewhat of a different aspect.

Mike Church:
It’s unique. It is unique, and I think the success has been, if you treat people like you said, if you give the best customer service … And our response time is second to none. They call. We’re there in no time, and we get a lot of customers from either other companies or do-it-yourself people. They’re like, “Man, this is great.” They come out and they fix it, but if you provide that service, and then you provide knowledge on the product, you get repeat customers. They’re going to want to go with you. And I don’t know if we’re the cheapest, but we’re the best. If you hire us, it’s going to work.

Eric Scheele:
It’s going to work.

Lucas Scheele:
It will.

Mike Church:
And ultimately, whenever you buy a product, whatever the case may be, you want it to work. You can go to Amazon and probably get it a couple bucks cheaper or whatever, but you’ve got to get it to work. If you’re going to spend money on something, then you might as well make sure it works.

Eric Scheele:
Not only do you got to get it to work, but you’ve got to do the training. And that’s what I’m hearing from you-

Mike Church:
Yes.

Lucas Scheele:
That’s the biggest part. You could buy something off Amazon-

Eric Scheele:
… is there is a big piece-

Lucas Scheele:
You could buy a fence or something off Amazon and get it cheaper, but you’re not going to get nearly any of the training here.

Eric Scheele:
Professional training.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, exactly. There’s no psychological factor to it.

Eric Scheele:
I don’t care what the industry is. We said this at the beginning. Put me in front of an industry leader and let me learn.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, exactly. That’s what-

Eric Scheele:
Or let me discover and screw it up myself. That’s what happens with a lot of DIY, and we see this on Property Guys too. A lot of would-be investors get into a house, and all of a sudden, they get in over their head. And all of a sudden, the phone’s ringing, saying, “Hey, come bail me out. We’re in over our head.” It happens in any industry.

Mike Church:
Exact same thing.

Use an Industry Professional

Eric Scheele:
Going to an industry professional and a leader, regardless of what the industry is, in this case, it’s Pet DeFence, has a lot of merit to it. You may pay a little bit more, but from my perspective, guess what? That education is worth it because you know it’s going to work. And you know what’s being applied is going to work in the end. There are no headaches. There was a time that I would always cut corners and try to save money here or there. I’ve learned over time is that let’s do it right the first time so we don’t backtrack and screw it up.

Lucas Scheele:
Don’t screw it up, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
And absolutely, so that extra two or three hundred dollars, whatever it may be, is well worth it in the long run because you’re not redoing something and costing yourself more money in the end. Is there a warranty that comes with this as well?

Mike Church:
Yeah, there is. We’ll warranty our installation. Like I said, our guy’s been doing it for 15 years. We’ll cover that if it’s an installation-related issue. We can’t control Google coming into your yard and digging up your line, but should-

Eric Scheele:
It doesn’t line locate, people who do that for construction, it doesn’t.

Mike Church:
No, they-

Eric Scheele:
You’ve got to deal with cut lines maybe every couple of times.

Mike Church:
Yeah, we deal with cut lines all the time, but our service, if you have a cut, and you’ll know it. You’ll know it, and-

Eric Scheele:
Does the containment system box beep actually?

Mike Church:
It does beep, yeah, and it’s-

Eric Scheele:
It tells you.

Mike Church:
Yeah, you think your house is going to blow up, probably. You unplug it and it’s not going to blow up. You’re going to give us a call. Your dog doesn’t get an email saying, “Hey, the fence is down. I’m free to go.” But you want to call sooner than later and get it out there and get it done because the dog eventually will like, “Hey, I wonder if I can go here.”

Eric Scheele:
We’re running a little long.

Mike Church:
Sorry.

Eric Scheele:
I want to wrap this up, but it’s a good point though. The dog doesn’t get an email, but I’m assuming you can take that collar off probably after awhile.

Mike Church:
Yeah, I don’t get that phone call, but I’ve heard that once or twice. But some dogs do-

Eric Scheele:
Because he’s ingrained. He knows-

Lucas Scheele:
It’s like my dog.

Eric Scheele:
“If I go in that corner-”

Lucas Scheele:
I have the collar off of him now, and he won’t go anywhere near that thing. He’ll go near it, but he knows when to stop.

Mike Church:
Right, and some dogs are like that. Some dogs don’t. They just push it until the last day. They’re like, “I want to get out.” Every dog’s different, so that’s why we go through that same process. We start with our gentle steps program. We start low, and eventually get to where we need to go.

Eric Scheele:
Right on. Okay, you ready for our KC Quick Three?

KC Quick Three

Mike Church:
Yeah, let’s do it.

Eric Scheele:
All right. We talk to all our guests and talk about Kansas City. This is Kansas City Industry Leaders Show, and so we always brup and pump … And we like the information, actually. Lucas and I like to listen in and hear some of these Kansas City secrets because we know a lot, but we don’t know everything.

Lucas Scheele:
Not yet.

Eric Scheele:
Not yet. We’re working on it.

Lucas Scheele:
There we go.

Eric Scheele:
KC Quick Three. We talk about eateries, because we’re somewhat foodies. We’re mild foodies. Any secrets? Here’s a good thing. Here’s Pet DeFence. This isn’t a guy who sits at a desk all day. This is a guy that, he already said it, he’s out training every day, so this is a guy that knows the nooks and crannies and corners of the city. He’s not carrying his lunch in his car. It’s not sitting in his back … He sees, “Hmm, there’s something new here. I’m in the middle of Liberty. I haven’t been out here in a few months. This one looks like it’s not branded.”

Eric Scheele:
I’m hoping. I’m hoping something like this is going to come out of here, so what have you got? We need to know. Plus, I know a little background here.

Mike Church:
Yeah, you do.

Eric Scheele:
He’s a barbecue guy.

Mike Church:
Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
I assume it’s going to come up in our next question. I’m guessing.

Mike Church:
It’ll probably come up in this question as well. I’m definitely a barbecue guy, so we’ve been doing it for years. I’m on a competitive team, and we’ve done it, so I feel like I can evaluate barbecue fairly well. And all the common places, and to me, Q39 is the top in Kansas City as far as best cooked barbecue. Those guys are gourmet, and they’ve applied their gourmet techniques to barbecue. And to open up a barbecue restaurant in the barbecue capital of the world takes some guts, but to be the best is pretty amazing, and they’ve done it. It’s very impressive, so obviously people in town know that that’s good, but I think it’s cooked the best.

Eric Scheele:
Okay, excellent. And it is good, by the way.

Mike Church:
Q39 is the top. Now, I told you a little bit. Jack’s Stack is everybody’s favorite, and Kansas City Joe’s, which used to be Oklahoma Joe’s. They do great pulled pork, and they do a great job. And then there’s some small dives that-

Eric Scheele:
Okay, all right. Let’s hear it.

Mike Church:
Let’s see. If you’re on the south side of town, Snead’s has been around for years.

Eric Scheele:
Martin City Snead’s? Is that what you’re talking about?

Mike Church:
It’s not even Martin City.

Eric Scheele:
It’s not Martin City anymore?

Mike Church:
It’s out past Loch Lloyd. It’s 171st or 179th and Holmes, I believe.

Eric Scheele:
Past Martin City.

Mike Church:
Yeah. It’s …

Eric Scheele:
Still there.

Mike Church:
Yeah, and I’m trying to think of the one down by … I’m just going on the outskirts. Hillsdale, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
The old bank building.

Mike Church:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
I know that one.

Mike Church:
So you know them. You travel for real estate.

Eric Scheele:
If I remember, it’s Thursday’s ribs.

Mike Church:
Yeah, you might be-

Eric Scheele:
In Hillsdale, so-

Mike Church:
Yeah, you might have that correct.

Eric Scheele:
But I could be just guessing and just happen to be right.

Mike Church:
And I’m trying to think. We went up north, and we tried some barbecue right out by the airport. I’m trying to think of the name. It was like 69 … It was right up by the airport and Platte City. It was really, really good.

Eric Scheele:
Someone’s going to comment and give us a name.

Mike Church:
Yeah, hopefully they do.

Eric Scheele:
I look forward to your coming through.

Mike Church:
We did a wing tour a couple of of weeks ago, so that was one of the stops, and they were exceptional. It’s a barbecue place that I had never heard of, but it’s one of those places that, once you go to it … If I’m having to wait for a pick-up at the airport, I’m running over there to grab me something, because it was really well done. It was really well done.

Eric Scheele:
All right, so great.

Lucas Scheele:
Cool, got the food side.

Favorite KC Events

Eric Scheele:
Great little nuggets. Favorite KC event. We have a lot of events to go to throughout the city, and the thing about when we ask this with events is there are so many different interests. We get a lot of variety because we only talk about one, maybe two, but go ahead. Give us, what do you think?

Mike Church:
Again, I’ll probably stick with the barbecue theme here. I’m a big Lenexa Barbecue guy. I’m involved with the team, and actually the founder of Lenexa Barbecue, Pat Dalton, started the team that I’m on, Dalton Gang, so we’ve done that every year. That’s a great get together for some friends.

Eric Scheele:
You’re almost like a founder.

Mike Church:
Well, he-

Eric Scheele:
You’re related to the founder.

Mike Church:
Related to the founder. I don’t know if Pat would take me, but yes. I’ve heard some really good stories from him. He’s a very interesting person, but yeah, the Lenexa Barbecue’s been around for, I don’t think they’re at 40 years, but I think they’re closing in on it.

Eric Scheele:
My goodness, and it’s huge.

Mike Church:
It is huge. It’s 180 teams. There’s waits to get in. If you’ve never been, it’s at the end of June. It’s the last weekend of June, on a Friday night. Come out, and it’s a fun party. And then Saturday’s the judging.

Eric Scheele:
All right. Here’s your chance to brag. Highest finish?

Mike Church:
We won chicken last year.

Eric Scheele:
Nice.

Lucas Scheele:
Nice. First place.

Mike Church:
We won chicken last year, and then-

Lucas Scheele:
Dalton Gang.

Eric Scheele:
Dalton Gang, first.

Mike Church:
Dalton Gang, first in chicken. And there are restaurants in town. I want to say Slaps, which is actually a really good barbecue place, they got second. I don’t know if I should go in there and say, “Do you guys know how to do chicken, because we do?” But no, they’re obviously really good at it, almost. And then they won it back in the 90s. If you win that, and it’s a big contest … And, like I said, there’s 180 teams plus in it, you get to go to the nationals, which is the Jack Daniels Nationals in Lynchburg.

Eric Scheele:
You’re going for chicken, or is this the overall winner?

Mike Church:
No, no. You have to be a top three, I believe, at any kind of KCBS, at certain KCBS sanctioned events. And then you get invited to that.

Eric Scheele:
Kansas City Barbecue Society.

Mike Church:
Yeah, which is based here in town.

Eric Scheele:
Okay.

Lucas Scheele:
Cool.

Eric Scheele:
Excellent.

Lucas Scheele:
That’s awesome.

Eric Scheele:
Well, very cool. And I like how he mentions back in the 90s. Obviously, you’ve been there awhile. You could probably name your last 15 finishes.

Mike Church:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
In all categories.

Mike Church:
Well, we want to forget some of them. We want to forget a lot of them, but we’ve always struggled at chicken. We thought, “If we could do well at chicken …” We’ve gone a couple of top 10s in the last couple years and in different, in pork and ribs and brisket, but we’ve always struggled at chicken, but we switched it up a little bit.

Eric Scheele:
You get first and you’re like, “I did?” Is that the tone that came out of your mouth? Were you that surprised?

Mike Church:
Well, a couple of us went up just for the judging at the end of the day, and it’s a long weekend, so you’re tired. We went up and listened, and the joke was, and they were announcing it backward, and they go, “Okay, first place winner.” I’m like, “Okay if we win, I’ll go up and do a dance.” And they announced it. My friend Jim looked at me, and he had big eyes. He’s like, “Oh my goodness.” He was so, I go, “Go, go.” And I’m hitting him to go up there. He took his beer up on stage, and he smiled for 20 minutes. It was awesome. It was fun. It’s a-

Eric Scheele:
Good memory.

Mike Church:
Yeah, it’s a neat event.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, that’s awesome.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, absolutely. Any shout-outs? That’s our final on the KC Three. Any shout-outs? Anybody local you want to say hi to?

Shoutouts

Mike Church:
I think I just shouted out to my-

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, you basically covered your Dalton Gang for sure.

Mike Church:
I covered our barbecue contest. Pat Dalton also part of Mid-America Games, which is a good event, and hopefully some of your followers will check into it. It’s an event for disabled people here in Kansas City he does every year, and he’s done it for close to 40 years.

Eric Scheele:
Fantastic.

Mike Church:
Yeah, it’s a really neat event, so I’m involved with that. I’ve got a couple of buddies that we train for it, and there are teams all over the country that come. I think it’s early May this year. It’s a neat event. It’s called Mid-American Games. It’s basically bocce, and it’s amazing. I’m into bocce and curling and all. Shuffleboard, we got a shuffleboard league this one, so I’m trying to cover all the different sports. Yeah, but that’s a neat event.

Eric Scheele:
Great, great. If anybody listening, watching, reading want to get ahold of you, what’s the best way for people to get you in contact with some hidden fence information?

Mike Church:
That’d be great. If they want to check out our website, it’s at petdefence.com. As I said, we’re local. We’re based here in Kansas City installing hidden dog fences. We’ve been around for 25 years, and we cover the whole metropolitan area. We head out to Lawrence, and we’ll go out a little way if needed. If they go to petdefence.com, they can find more information, and happy to talk to them more about a hidden dog fence.

Contact PetDeFence

Eric Scheele:
Fantastic. I appreciate your coming in.

Mike Church:
Yeah, thanks for having me, guys. It’s been great.

Eric Scheele:
You bet.

Lucas Scheele:
Awesome. Well, that’s awesome. We just had Mike Church in here for today from PetDefence hidden dog fences. We’re going to wrap it up, and we’re going to see you in the next episode. You guys take care.

Eric Scheele:
Take care.

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