- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—PRINCETON — Pulled pork and brisket is just the start of what The Big Whiskey BBQ Co. has to offer Princeton and surrounding areas on a weekly basis.

Owner Travis Harry started the business about a year ago when it made its debut at the Mercer County Fair. Harry said barbeque was a hobby and something he always had a passion for.

“People told me it would make good money and I thought, why not take the plunge; take the risk,” he said.

The food truck now travels to several locations each week including Princeton, Bluefield, Va., Christiansburg, Va., and Virginia Tech. Harry said he is looking to expand operations to Tazewell, Va., and add a second day in Bluefield, Va. The truck will also make a stop at this year’s county fair on July 31 and Aug. 1.

Patrons of the mobile eatery can enjoy Texas-style barbeque brisket, pulled pork, chicken and sausage as well as a variety of side dishes like bacon mac ‘n cheese, baked beans and more. Harry said their pulled pork sandwiches are the biggest sellers while the brisket is the most popular.

“We’re the only barbeque company around that does brisket daily,” he said.

The brisket and pulled pork are cooked daily in a gas-fired smoker for 12 to 14 hours, which starts the evening before the next business day. The chicken and sausage is smoked for two hours.

They also offer a variety of made-in-house sauces including the Sweet and Spicy Southern Original, which is made up of 14 ingredients. The Smoky Carolina Gold sauce has a mustard and vinegar base. They also occasionally offer Alabama White, which is a mayonnaise-based sauce Harry said is good on chicken. He is also looking to add two more sauces to the menu — the Big Whiskey Reserve and Espresso 1984 — in the near future.

Harry said the Sweet and Spicy Southern Original sauce, Smoky Carolina Gold sauce and Smoky Saloon Rub will soon be sold online at the business’ website and on Amazon.com. His goal is to also sell both products at 3,500 stores nationwide. This will also help him achieve his dream of opening a brick and mortar store locally that would be used for production of online sales and carryout a couple of days a week.

One of Harry’s favorite aspects of running the business is seeing the look on a happy customer’s face when they first bite into a product.

“The enjoyment comes from the customer’s satisfaction with what they’re eating,” he said.

The Big Whiskey BBQ Co. is more than just a mobile eatery and offers catering as well.

“We will do everything from traditional pulled pork, to a rack of lamb to a whole hog,” Harry said. “We are one of the only barbeque companies to offer a whole hog.”

Part of the planned business expansion will include offering fully-smoked meats for sale online. Harry said he has done several test runs to make sure he is offering his patrons the best meats possible.

“I am the hardest critic this company will ever find,” he said. “If it’s not absolutely perfect I’m not happy.”

Harry is also getting involved in barbeque competitions. He is looking at competing in Kansas City Barbeque Society events as well as non-KCBS competitions locally. He plans to participate in the Jim Beam Classic in October.

These events usually involve 36 hours with no sleep for Harry, since he uses a stick burner to smoke the meats, which requires watching the temperature around the clock.

“The competitions are stressful, but they’re fun,” he said, and added there is a lot of camaraderie involved.

He also benefits from getting his product out to the public and spreading the word about the business.

“It’s not just about the trophy and the money, but also brand awareness,” he said.

The Big Whiskey BBQ Co. is open at the following locations each week:

—Tuesday at the Big Lots parking lot in Princeton from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (or until sold out).

—Wednesday at Fieldstone Church in Christiansburg, Va., from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (or until sold out).

—Thursday at Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (or until sold out).

—Friday at Clay’s Country Market in Bluefield, Va., from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (or until sold out).

Saturday is reserved for catering. The business is closed Sunday and Monday. Any changes to the regular schedule are posted on the eatery’s Facebook page. Harry said he updates the schedule every Monday. For more information, visit www.bigwhiskeybbqco.com, the company’s Facebook page, or email [email protected]co.com. For catering, call 304-952-7183.

— Contact Jackie Puglisi at [email protected]


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