Three Things We Love
Our family and friends. Central Florida. And great BBQ!
All three came together when we started BBQ50 three years ago!
It was a dream we’d had for over twenty years.
In 2002, my wife and I moved to Avalon Park and we instantly loved it. As the neighborhood grew, so did our family and our network of friends. At block parties and cookouts, we’d fire up the smoker, load it up with meats made according to the family recipes, and the sweet smell of smoky ribs and chicken was like an aroma-magnet, pulling old and new friends out of their houses and into the streets to eat and have fun!
After six kids, 20 years working in corporate America, and lots and lots of long, back porch discussions with my wife, we made the leap to do what we love for the community we love. We started a family BBQ business!
Our first idea was to operate a food truck and that’s where the name BBQ50 came from. Our plan was to serve great BBQ from Union Park all the way to the beach along East Colonial, or “50” as it’s lovingly known to the locals.
But…money WAS an option, so we decided to start a catering business to work up the bank account first. Then, Hurricane Irma hit. People were flooded out of their homes and the power was out. But we cooked with fire! So, we coordinated with C3 Church to feed the folks affected by Irma. And the crisis became a blessing—we built relationships with our east Orlando neighbors; we put money in the bank, and we started to see the outlines of our community-based BBQ brand.
Our menu is like a peek into the recipe files of several generations of Ashby cooks. The rubs and meats are prepared the same way Bob, my grandfather cooked them more than 100 years ago.
The Southern-style sides were first made by my Grandmother Barbara (aka GrandAshby) a woman born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. I’ll never forget her saying, “…if you aren’t adding love and patience to each dish, then you aren’t cooking my way!”
Some of our recipes come from my Uncle Jimmy. He hosted a radio show in Iowa for many, many years and his audience was filled with sweet women who could cook the pants off everyone they knew. Lucky for us, Uncle Jimmy wrote all of those secrets down!
Serving great BBQ to our neighbors in a family-friendly kind of way is at the heart of BBQ50. What we do now is not that much different from firing up the smoker like we did 20 years ago in the neighborhood. And we hope you feel that way every time you eat with us.