A love of good food is what spurred entrepreneur Drew Coy to found Smokin’ Bros BBQ, and a strong family bond, as well as culinary skill, mobility, and great customer service are the secrets of Smokin’ Bros success.
Smokin’ Bros BBQ offers pulled pork, baby back ribs, beef brisket, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and banana pudding. The meat is smoked personally by the Coys, and there are a variety of sauces to choose from.
“I’ve always enjoyed recreating the food that I got to eat and then try to put my own spin on it,” said Coy.
The sauces and other items offered at Smokin’ Bros are Coy’s own recipe, though he credits his parents, Dan and Denise Coy, who are also his business partners, in assisting to make each recipe special. “We all kind of added to some of them to make them more our own,” said Drew Coy.
Those recipes have certainly earned Smokin’ Bros BBQ a steady following, as well as the 2014 Mid-Ohio’s Best Award in the barbecue division.
Daveta Dennis, a Foundation Academy teacher, said once she discovered Smokin’ Bros brisket she immediately started recommending it to coworkers.
“It was amazing, and then they gave me samples of other things,” she said, noting that she enjoyed the friendly service and smiling faces found at the eatery.
Dennis is now a regular, and even introduced her sister, who lives in Columbus, to the food. “That’s where I’m going now,” she said. “I have to bring her some Smokin’ Bros every time I go to Columbus.”
Dan Coy said, “Everybody that tries it just loves it. We’ve had people from St. Louis and Washington D.C., they all say it’s some of the best barbecue they’ve eaten.”
Drew Coy said that even children enjoy the food. “The kids that normally turn their noses up at beans and coleslaw but have tried ours, we’ve gotten some really good feedback from them.”
Smokin’ Bros BBQ’s mobility is a great advantage, noted Dan Coy. The business operates from a food truck instead of a building, offers catering, and can be found at many local events as well as at their usual spot on Park Avenue West, in the parking lot of Empress Express.
Dan Coy said that the owner of Empress Express is a great supporter of the business, and that the relationship has worked well as some families stop for both Asian cuisine in addition to a Smokin’ Bros specialty.
The name may seem a little misleading, though the idea for Smokin’ Bros was, indeed, between Drew Coy and his brother. However, as the business evolved, so did the partnership, leaving Drew, Denise and Dan Coy as partners.
The whole family has always enjoyed barbecue, the Coys noted.
“Dad was always big into grilling and I brought the smoking [of meats] into the family, and we just started doing it for family get-togethers and it just blossomed from there,” said Drew Coy. “It was originally going to be a little weekend thing where we could get together and serve some barbecue and then things just kind of changed. We saw a big shortage in the market for barbecue in Mansfield,” he said.
The Coy family isn’t sure where the business may go in the next five years. One advantage of the mobile unit is trying out different locations before considering a “brick and mortar” establishment in a particular area, said Drew Coy, but he noted he enjoys the freedom offered by the food truck.
“My thinking is if we can make a business successful given the economy as it is now, it can only get better as things grow,” said Dan Coy.
“It’s a lot of work, but we have a lot of fun at it,” he added.
Upcoming events for the mobile eatery include : Martini’s on Main, Oct. 10, beginning at 4 p.m., and Oct. 11, beginning at 7 p.m.; and Rally in the Valley, a fundraiser for the Clear Fork Boosters on Saturday, Oct. 18, beginning at 6 p.m.
For additional information, individuals can visit the company's website. Smokin’ Bros BBQ is open year-round, Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 7 p.m. and is usually found in the parking lot of Empress Express, located at 1041 Park Avenue West, Mansfield.