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Pressing Pause

a sign in front of a brick building


A couple of years ago someone asked what I did for work.

“I ring up customers at the register.”

I was being somewhat glib. Small business owners have boundary issues and find ourselves doing everything. Big to small. Most important to least. Whenever possible at the least convenient times. 

I was, however, scheduled to work the register that day.

The inquirer stared. She pressed: 

“What do you really do?”

I blanked out. I stared back. Then I blurted: "I gather and nourish.” 

She paused. 

"What does that mean?"

"Food’s job is to gather people for sharing. I facilitate that. And when I was small and my Dad said grace, he asked God that the food we eat nourish not just our bodies but our souls. So I help with that too.”

I don’t know where those words came from. At the time BBQ Bus was 7 year old, but it was the first time I understood what it was that I really did for a living.

There have always been challenges living this call to service; from when we were aspiring-but-broke entrepreneurs, to our early years navigating regulations, to growing and learning how to operationalize. 

But today feels different.

For the health of our family, our BBQ Bus family’s health, and health of the business, we're discontinuing retail operations for now.

This crisis strikes at the fundamental expectations underlying our livelihoods. It has spurred an exodus from a downtown we fed almost daily and shrunk the get-togethers we help you celebrate. 

We’re doing our best, but can’t promise the safety of those whose wellbeing we’re charged with safeguarding during the workday. We are living in an open-ended season of risk to our health that we’ve accepted as a fact of our vocation.

We are working harder than ever, but the business doesn’t sustain itself. 

Our best hope for reuniting on a new day is to press pause. 

The Smokehouse’s last day will be Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Our online catering store will remain open through December in limited capacity.  

This is hard. We love our jobs. Tadd was 5 years old the first time he stepped into his grandfather’s kitchen. To reach the grill he stood on a stool built by his great grandfather.

But with goodness, grace and by lifting up each other we’ll see this time through.

Stay healthy and safe. We’ll catch you on the flip side.