Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Grid Star Rescues Firm `More Parks Sausages, Franco'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ex-Grid Star Rescues Firm `More Parks Sausages, Franco'

Article excerpt

The rescue of Parks Sausage Co. moved a big step forward Wednesday when a federal bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of the struggling company to a group led by former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris.

"Let's go man, I'm ready to go to work," Harris said outside the courtroom after Judge James Schneider thanked him and former Baltimore Colts football player Lydell Mitchell for helping save Parks, one of the nation's most prominent black-owned businesses.

Parks, founded in 1951 by City Council member Henry Parks Jr., became in 1961 the first black-owned company in the United States to sell stock to the public. Parks' pepper-spiced sausage and its slogan, "More Parks Sausages Mom. Please," eventually made it a household name.

The company ran into financial trouble in the early 1990s when it was forced from its longtime headquarters to make way for the Baltimore Orioles' new baseball stadium. After the company moved to its new $16 million plant, sales slumped and its debt rose to $7. …

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