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Discover Fauquier December 2017
22
Business
Profile
Janet, Dennis & Walker Hoffman
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
An Opal mainstay since 2003,
BBQ
Country planted its roots long before then.
Owner Dennis Hoffman grew up with five
siblings in Kansas, where his father, who
was an engineer by trade, also loved to
cook. Dennis recalls helping him barbecue
beef, leg of lamb, and other meats in a
whiskey barrel that had been converted into
a smoker.
The family eventually relocated to northern
Virginia, and his father launched the first
BBQ Country in Centreville nearly 30
years ago. Dennis explains that additional
locations opened in Virginia and Maryland
over the years; he and his wife Janet
opened the ninth location--the current and
now sole restaurant--nearly 15 years ago,
and it remains a popular destination for
locals and those passing through
town.
"If it ain't broke, don't
fix it." This saying
comes to mind
when you consider
that BBQ Country
has served the same
items throughout the
years, with very little
change. If you've tasted the
lip-smacking barbecue options, you
understand that no change is necessary!
And while customers simply experience
service with a smile and outstanding food,
they may not know about the tremendous
effort that goes into preparing it.
All meats--about 750 pounds daily--are
smoked over an open wood-burning pit.
Beef brisket and pork require 18 hours to
achieve their rich flavor while spare ribs
smoke for 10 hours, and chicken and sweet
sausage cook for 4 hours. Dennis uses
the same spices that his mother did, as
well as her recipes for side dishes, which
include cole slaw, potato salad, baked
beans, macaroni and cheese, and collard
greens. They offer mild and spicy barbecue
sauces--again, his mother's recipes--and
have added a Carolina sauce as well.
BBQ Country:
A Multigenerational Family Success
Customers have enjoyed
BBQ Country fare so much
that they want to have it at
their private celebrations. So
Dennis, Janet, and their staff
often take their barbecue gig
out on the road for catered
affairs, including graduations,
reunions, weddings, and more.
They even provided their
barbecue temptations for their
daughter Stephanie's wedding
a few weeks ago!
Just because they have
mastered the art of barbecue
doesn't mean it's their
only talent. When the Opal
restaurant opened, Dennis
and Janet decided to offer breakfast too,
and customers choose from a full menu:
omelets, pancakes, French toast, sausages,
biscuits and gravy, and a variety of breakfast
sandwiches and platters. All items are made
to order, served fresh and hot.
BBQ Country is a family business in every
sense. Not only are Dennis and Janet an
integral part of it, but Stephanie used to
work with them, and their 15-year-old son
Walker is onsite almost every Sunday. The
rest of the staff, although not related by
blood, is considered family too. The main
cooks, Andy Williams and John Rutherford,
have been on board for about seven years.
Mathew Doores, who commutes to college,
is also part of what's affectionately known as
the "BBQ Crew," as are Nell Shannon and
Kennedie Hinson. "They're the
backbone," says Dennis,
adding that each staff
member knows how
to do every job.
BBQ Country's
client base is varied.
Because its location
is convenient for trucks
to enter, park, and exit,
truck drivers are certainly regular
diners. But the restaurant stays busy every
day with individuals, couples, and families,
especially on the weekends. Janet often
hears diners say that they had driven past
BBQ Country for years and finally decided
to try it. Once people taste the food, they
tend to be hooked!
"We still have a blast doing this," says
Dennis, who has enjoyed watching the
next generation of BBQ Country diners
come through. And he's excited that the
holidays have started. They smoked a
lot of turkeys for customers to pick up for
their Thanksgiving dinners, and they'll be
preparing more for Christmas--and hams
too. Order yours today! To learn more, call
(540) 439-6904.
May your holidays be
joyful and bright.
Warrenton Insurance & Financial Services
Sondra McTarnaghan
540-347-7766
568 Waterloo Road, Suite 104
Warrenton
smctarnaghan@allstate.com
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