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If the Colonel had our recipe, he would have become a General

Nelson's offers the best in Fundraising, Banquets, Catering, and Port-A-Pit Chicken!For over 40 years Nelson's has been serving Indiana and Michigan with the finest barbecued products. For those of you who are not familiar with Nelsonís we have provided an informative video available for viewing below that will help introduce you to our products and services. For your convenience, we've listed all of the upcoming fund raiser locations throughout Michiana where you can find Nelson's famous Port-A-Pitģ chicken.


As a manager of a small poultry processing plant in Wakarusa, Indiana, during the depression Nelson Gongwer continuously toyed with new and innovative ways to promote poultry products. He was convinced that there was a better way to cook large quantities of chicken while still maintaining the high quality only found in ďgrandmaísĒ kitchen. Weekend after weekend, he labored over makeshift grills, trying to determine a means to automate the grill while also improving the quality of the end product. Eventually, in 1967, Nelson accomplished exactly what he had set out to do, and the Port-A-Pitģ system and Nelsonísô Food Service Corporation were born. After years of persistence, Nelson had simplified his hobby of entertaining guests while promoting poultry and also had, more importantly, created the process that would soon make Nelsonís a household name throughout northern Indiana.

By the 1980ís, Nelsonís was the premier food service business in northern Indiana. Under the leadership of Dean Gongwer, Nelsonís son, the company was preparing more than 500,000 halves of chicken annually at fundraisers, corporate caterings, and other special events in Indiana and Michigan. Capitalizing on a two-part market niche that includes premium products and unique production efficiencies, Nelsonís has always provided its customers with a rare combination of quality and quantity. For example, Nelsonís can feed 7,500 people a delicious, all-you-can-eat meal using only three people to cook the meat. Traditional catering companies, conversely, may require 20 to 30 people to cook for this size of a group.

Deanís son, Tad Nelson Gongwer took over the third generation family owned company in 1997 and has continued the tradition of quality and inventive business thinking with putting an emphasis on the catering division. Nelsonís now serves over 1,200,000 halves of chicken through its fundraising and catering services from Indianapolis to Northern Michigan every year. Serving groups from 10 to 40,000 and being the only food concessionaire at large outdoor events with attendances up to 250,000 people.


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Nelson's • 607 Nelson's Parkway • Wakarusa • Indiana • 46573 • (800) 224-3435 • © 2004 Nelson's