My First BBQ Business

BBQ Lucy’s Stand is Born!

Since I have lived all over the country, I have had the privilege of trying many different BBQ sauces.  Now I’m no connoisseur of fine dining, just an average Midwest girl who likes her BBQ!!!  And I’ve tried BBQ from the north to the south, East Coast, and West Coast!  And some of my favorite pastimes have been stopping at the outdoor BBQ stands dotting country roads in the summer!

Unfortunately, as you may find out, most people won’t share their recipe, or if they do, they conveniently leave out a key ingredient!

As I mentioned in my first post, I’m settled in a little country town, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains and friends return year after year to enjoy my BBQ ribs and chicken.  The demand became so huge that I decided to quit my day job driving the school bus and started my own business.

It was fun working from home – at first.  It was especially nice to not have to go out in the weather, which can be extreme up here in the mountains.

One of my biggest customers was the local real estate agent, who loved my “Dad’s BBQ sauce.”  She would place her order when she knew she’d be in my neck of the woods, and she’d stop by my house frequently to pick up an order of ribs, chicken or just the sauce.

Since she was driving a lot, she convinced me to freeze the sauce for her.  Then she and her family would use it on their weekends grilling out.  I was totally opposed to freezing my sauce, but then my out-of-town friends swore this was the best way they could carry the sauce for use back home!

And then the real estate agent persuaded me to prepare large batches of my BBQ sauce and put it up in mason jars.  She had the brilliant idea of giving a couple of jars to people new to the area who had just purchased their home or business through her!

So with canning the sauces, and needing larger quantities of ingredients, I soon ran out of storage place.  I had several big pots and baking pans cooking at once.  Then I started investing in some slow cookers because my stove couldn’t keep up with all the BBQ sauce.  There wasn’t even room in my home kitchen for the ingredients anymore!  I had to buy an extra refrigerator, then a freezer!  And after cleaning up from my BBQ cooking, I can tell you that I did not feel like cooking in my beautiful clean kitchen for my husband and kids!

Family and friends finally convinced me to move the business out of my home, and my real estate agent friend found the “perfect place” for me, and that is how Lucy’s BBQ Stand got started.  It had been a family-owned hot dog stand for decades, and they decided to go out of business.  It’s perfect!!!

It has a professional kitchen with two large industrial size refrigerators, two big stoves shelves and plenty of counter space.  It even has a walk-out patio in the back so I can grill outside when the weather’s good.  And believe, nothing draws a crowd like the sweet, smoky smell of BBQ!!!

I think the two best features of my BBQ stand are (1) Location, Location, Location!  It’s located on the main highway, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where tourists exit to get their gas, and it’s nestled next to the popular Gift Store.  I recently invested in a few picnic tables out front and in the fall, they were almost constantly occupied by folk hungry for BBQ!

And (2) it’s got two sweet counters with ten stools, one with five stools facing the kitchen and the other five facing outdoors through the multi-paned windows.  So people can stop in and eat inside or out.  I absolutely ADORE IT when they visit with me while I’m simmering my BBQ and share stories of their travels and their other favorite BBQ joints.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Talk at ya soon,

Lucy

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