Brisk(et) businessPublished 9:13pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Two new eateries that have opened on North Main Street recently cater to both sweet and savory tastes.
Suffolk BBQ Co. has been trading at 1208 N. Main St., near Lowe’s, since Jan. 17.
The barbecue joint’s tagline is “Low-N-Slow — Real Good BBQ,” and owner Wayne Powers operates a smoker out the back of the shop.
“A couple of years ago, my wife and I were going out to get barbecue, and she said, ‘We’ve got to drive all the way to Carrollton!’ he recalled. “It was like, ‘That’s a long way to go. We live in Suffolk; I can’t believe there’s not a barbecue place in Suffolk.’ So we opened one up.”
It’s Wayne and Melinda Powers’ first eatery. “We came from a whole different background,” said Wayne Powers, who was in the credit card processing business before.
“I cooked in the backyard for years and years, and people liked it when it was free. I thought I’d see if they (still) liked it when they had to pay for it. Business has been great.”
Suffolk BBQ does pulled pork, pulled chicken, half chickens, ribs and brisket. Smoking all that food is a “time-consuming process,” Powers said.
“The barbecue process just for the pulled pork, start to finish, is 36 to 48 hours,” he said. “We smoke all day, every day. We prepare at night and smoke the next day.”
The eatery makes of its sides fresh, Powers said, and desserts are fresh-baked. It’s located near a lot of chain eateries, so “we’ve got be good every time,” Powers said. “We’re only as good as our last order.”
While he has lived in Hampton Roads since 1984, Wayne Powers has been a Suffolk resident for eight years; and Melinda Powers, he said, is “a lifelong Suffolk person.”
The eatery currently does drop catering, but Wayne Powers said they plan to get a mobile trailer smoker in the future.
The new business employs 14 part-time workers, and the Suffolk community has been very welcoming, Powers said.
“We’re very happy we made the decision,” he said. “The people of Suffolk have been great to us.”
Meanwhile, a Sweet Frog premium frozen yogurt store has opened near Suffolk BBQ, at 1217 N. Main St.
According to the company’s website, Sweet Frog, which by summer will have more than 260 stores in 23 states, as well as two international locations, was started in Richmond by entrepreneur Derek Cha, along with wife Annah Kim, in 2009.
The F.R.O.G. in Sweet Frog stands for Fully Rely On God, the website states, and stores aim to “become part of the fabric that wraps their communities.”
Owner of the new Suffolk location, Chris Choi, who does not own the Harbor View Sweet Frog but does own two others in Chesapeake, said he considered the proximity to Walmart and visibility from busy North Main Street when selecting the site.
“It’s going to be good business, but we don’t really know how good yet,” he said, noting that the store has 12 mostly part-time workers, and would be adding more during the summer.