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The Virginia Barbeque StoryMonday March 20, 2006 11:20 PM

The Virginia Barbeque Story

 

We started our first Virginia Barbeque in Ashland, Virginia in May of 2000. A small takeout location, which was a 100 year old home on the main street, was where Virginia Barbeque “cut it’s teeth”.

            Our original tag line “There’s a New Pig in Town” was created to get a chuckle out of the locals. Our location was just a block away from the 20 plus year old icon “The Smokey Pig”.  From the beginnings I knew that we were creating more than just a local barbeque with a store or two. We had a great concept and the true southern barbeque and homemade sides to spread the concept throughout the Mid Atlantic and across the nation. Our first goal for the chain was to have 5 locations!

            After 6 months in our first location we received a “raving fan” write up in the Richmond Times Dispatch! What a motivator that was. We were being recognized as the new favorite BBQ for the newspaper’s food writer, Jody Rathgeb, in a town of famous barbeques. With only a very small takeout and a difficult location to enter, our little place started generating major publicity and sales!

            Our idea was simple. We would create an authentic quick service barbeque chain using the skills I have accumulated as a Certified Executive Chef. With a desire for success that is larger than life there was not a question in my mind that we would prosper.  If I could share the recipes and the authentic pulled pork barbeque with others willing to also work hard to get ahead we could grow Virginia Barbeque into the finest Southern Quick Serve Barbeque around.

We decided from the beginning that we would “keep it simple”. Only authentic freshly made side items and true wood smoked meats would be served. Our operators would keep the atmosphere at each location “down home” feeling. By making the systems and store easy to operate (so that you didn’t need chef’s and lots of managers to run the place) we would keep the quality consistently at it’s best and the operating cost’s low. By giving the locations the benefit of buying their meats fully smoked and hand pulled to my quality specifications we would all serve the finest barbeque around on a daily basis. Our system insures the quality and keeps it simple for the owner everyday.

We began to work on franchising seriously after a very motivated potential franchisee came up to me at a Big Brothers\Big Sisters “Taste of Fredericksburg” event. Faith proclaimed she wanted to open her own Virginia Barbeque and get out of the corporate world rat race. We began work on hiring the finest franchise attorney to get us set up and registered in Virginia. Faith opened her shop not long after that in Culpeper, VA and the rest is history!

   

           Today I realize that we got into the barbeque restaurant arena just at the beginning of a national obsession. With the popularity of regional comfort foods and the discovery of barbeque outside of it’s southern roots we were in the right place at the right time. I believe in the next twenty years that the barbeque movement will sweep the nation. We believe that if we stay true to our mission of “Authentic Southern Barbeque in a Simple Family Atmosphere at a Family Friendly Price” we will create “Raving Fans” for many years to come!

 

 

 

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Gibson Marketing
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