It was probably two or three years ago when I first noticed Food Network and other popular food channels and food blog sites begin highlighting Food Trucks that specialize in craft foods (much like hand crafted beers). The tastes, varieties, combinations, and amalgamations of the various Food Truck offerings blew me away. As a lover of authentic hand-crafted BBQ, I have an equally high opinion of any other chefs or cooks out there who specialize in bringing their love of unique and delicious food to the masses.
Not too far from here, over in Sarasota, Florida, lies a land where amazing BBQ Brisket and other BBQ fare are crafted mobile Food Truck style by my good friend Mark Gabrick. Every Saturday Mark blesses the masses with true Texas style brisket and other smoked meats from his mobile Brick’s Barbecue location.
So where did Mark pick up his BBQ chops? Shoot y’all, this boy’s got roots in both Kansas City and Texas! Can’t do much better than that! BBQ is in his veins, he’ll tell you, and became a vocation in 2011 after he and his wife returned from Poland with their kids and had a tough time finding work. Mark’s wife, Marta, has a background in air traffic control and his was in Art Direction.
To get them on the financial track, Mark put $35,000 into a food truck, donned it with the name “The Hogfather BBQ Truck,” loaded in a Stumps Smoker, and the Hogfather BBQ Food Truck was born.
Brick’s Barbeque in Sarasota, Florida Coming Soon
Mark’s BBQ is no joke. He’s taken what he’s learned from his Kansas City and Texas roots and coupled it with ideas picked up from the likes of BBQ Champion Rub Bagby of Swamp Boys BBQ. Now with several years of selling quality barbecue under his belt, what started as a mobile BBQ business will become a beloved BBQ oasis in Sarasota, FL.
“My wife and I decided it was time to put our focus on a permanent location for our barbecue business. What we wanted was a true BBQ joint,” says Gabrick. “So I sold the Food truck business, re-branded to Brick’s Barbeque, and now our focus will be primarily on Barbecued Beef created authentically with wood and time. We chose Brick’s Barbecue as the name to go along with the tradition of some of the more authentic and historic BBQ restaurants around the country.”
In speaking with Mark today, here’s how he broke down the transition from his early BBQ food truck business with Hogfather BBQ to what they’re doing now with Brick’s Barbeque:
We recently moved from Tampa to Sarasota. About 4-5 months ago I guess. At that time, we decided to sell the food truck because absent of a dense demographic, the food truck business was not a feasible option for me to keep earning money. Sarasota, as most cities do, still has quite a few restrictions on where you can and cannot operate, so it made sense to get rid of the food truck and take a step back.
So we did literally take a step back and started vending at the local farmer’s market here in Sarasota. From the start of the market, we began to double our quantities of beef sold, and the repeat business just kept getting stronger and stronger. From there we began looking for a location and started asking friends and family for angel investor money.
Looking back, it all sound rather straight forward and simple, which to some degree it was/is. However, it’s important to point out that from the time we owned the food truck to where I am now, I have had two other people approach me also wanting to put me in a building. My gut instinct and doing some back ground research on them told me they were not the right partners. So I’ve waited and waited, kept focusing on my goal, and really just kept making baby steps towards it every week.
If You’re Looking for Fast Food BBQ – Brick’s Barbeque Ain’t For You
I love the disclaimer Mark has placed at the bottom of the current Brick’s Barbeque website. Simply put, it goes like this:
We are committed to producing brilliantly executed barbeque meats and providing superior service to our customers. If you’re looking for the same ole, same ole barbeque caterer you’ve come to the wrong place. We instead strive to provide all wood cooked, competition quality smoked meats cooked the old school way. We focus our attention on producing traditional Texas Style Beef Brisket, Kansas City Style Ribs and Southern Style Pulled Pork.
I think we can all give a hearty Hell Yeah to that, right? They had me at “competition quality!”
To connect with Mark directly so that you can be sure to get to Brick’s Barbeque once it opens, check him out on Facebook and Twitter. I know I’ll be making Brick’s Barbeque a regular stop along my BBQ travels here in Florida, and I hope you will too!