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Meet Ya’Ron Brown of Southern Roots Backyard BBQ in Gwinnett County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ya’Ron Brown.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Our rollercoaster ride to get to this point, looking back is so crazy. If you can believe it, we actually started out as a cookie company that developed because my beautiful wife was pregnant with our twins and was eating McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies all the time! She craved chocolate chip cookies and it was close to our house. I didn’t want her consuming those artificial cookies, so I began to experiment with different recipes until I felt like I had the perfect all-natural cookie. And according to my wife, after a few failed attempts, I finally got it right. We began to dream about exposing our cookies to the public and then one day we met someone who was working with William Sonoma selling spices and he plugged us in with them to sell our cookies. At that point, Simple Scoop Cookies was born. After introducing our community to our cookies, we wanted to do more. I was passionate about my culinary skills in all areas and desired to have a larger platform, especially one that was able to give people healthier options with food. We then contracted with a company called Fooda and started doing corporate catering under the name Simple Scoop Fresh. A few months in, we had another chance encountering with a friend of a friend who was interested in what we did. I shared with him that we had a catering and cookie company and he wanted to know if we would be interested in meeting with an organization to see if we would be a good fit for a government contract opportunity. Of course, I said yes. Within a few weeks we interviewed with the agency, were told we secured the contract and that we had one weekend to turn a full-service cafe into our own and prepare to be open the following Monday. So, we had a weekend to get food, staff, and clean a cafe. It was one of the longest weekends of our life, but we made it. With this new opportunity, we created our now parent company Simple Scoop Co. After being in business for a year and a half, the pandemic hit and we had to close our doors. It was bittersweet, but we knew something else was around the corner. Over the next few months, my wife and I discussed in length about what our next move would be. She reminded me of the summer prior when I entered a few BBQ competitions and won. I had always dreamed of having either a small BBQ spot or a food truck where I could be mobile with my food. She said now was the time. So, I began to search for a trailer, came across a great company, WOW Cargo Trailers, who was able to customize a trailer for me that fit my every need. The process took a little longer than usual to build due to the pandemic, but by the end of Summer 2020, Southern Roots Backyard BBQ was born. I had my trailer and was ready to get my BBQ out there. During my wait time on the trailer, I was able to connect with someone who connected food trucks/trailers to breweries in the metro-Atlanta area. I was able to secure some dates with several of them during this time and was ready for the public as soon as I got my trailer. Fast forward to today. We’ve been booked every weekend since opening, serving at different breweries and subdivisions, and selling out each time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road definitely hasn’t been smooth, but it has taught us so much about ourselves and how we can persevere. From trying to enter the dessert market with a specialty product that people had to see value in order to buy; to running a full service cafe, being impacted by the government shutdown and losing an entire staff, to having to rebuild full operations in order to keep the business going; to developing a presence on social media to get people excited about what I have to offer — it has definitely been challenging. But I never gave up. Every time there was a setback, I looked at my family and knew I had to continue pushing forward for them. I never had the spirit of giving up. I continued to push through it all, knowing that all of these challenges were preparing me for my ultimate destination. My wife has been my rock through it all and my children my inspiration. Everything I do has been and always will be for them.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Southern Roots Backyard BBQ – what should we know?
About Us: Our Backyard BBQ is by far a labor of love and is second to none! We started in the art of grilling at 10 years old and have been working ever since to produce the best BBQ we are sure you will ever find. Our BBQ has a unique flavor that continues to turn heads and get amazing feedback from everyone who tastes it.

Southern Roots Backyard BBQ is just getting started. Our customers’ favorites have hands down been our chopped brisket and smoked macaroni and cheese. We are most proud of the fact that we are a family-owned business who prides themselves on being an honest company that does not take any shortcuts to providing our customers with the best food. We believe what sets us apart is the time we put into preparing and smoking our meats along with the quality of meat we use. We want our customers to have the best, so we use prime cut meats to make our BBQ, along with fresh ingredients to make our sides. It’s a labor of love nonetheless and believe everyone who eats our BBQ can feel it.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We aren’t afraid to ask questions
We love what we do and our customers
We support our communities.
We love constructive criticism
We work to make sure we provide the best possible experience and food for our customers
We keep and honor our commitments
We have a strong work ethic and desire to be the best

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images taken by my wife and logo designed by my wife.

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