In 1984 Tom Handeland came to Marshall to manage the American Legion. For 13 years he worked in the restaurant industry in the Marshall area. In 1997 he moved back to Annandale, his hometown, when a buddy of his built the club house on the golf course. Tom, who had begun painting upon his return to Annandale, got the painting contract. When the job was done, he was offered the opportunity to run the club house, and he got back into the restaurant business. But in 1999, he gave his notice and took on a position selling cars. Just a few short years later, in 2003, he received a call from his friend John Murphy. John told him there was an opportunity of a lifetime: to buy the old Country Kitchen in Marshall and start his own restaurant. Tom made a trip back to Marshall, took a trip through the restaurant and decided to take a leap of faith and start his first restaurant. It hasn’t always been a smooth path for Tom; the first year was a struggle until he joined the Chamber and had the chance to feature his ribs at the Taste of Marshall. Since then the Hitching Post has sold almost half a million pounds of ribs, and LeRoy’s and Hitching Post at Lake Center have joined the Hitching Post family. After more than 30 years in the restaurant business, Tom feels lucky to have had the support of the communities that make the Hitching Post restaurants possible.