Today we’d like to introduce you to Derrick Harris.
Derrick, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up with love for barbecue. I owe that 100 percent to my parents Malvis and Marjorie Harris. I witnessed my dad managing the barbecue after my mother had completed the seasoning of the meat. Their collaboration was so incredible and amazing to me as a young child that I couldn’t wait to get my opportunity to barbecue. As a child, my dad would allow me to turn the meat over to prevent the meat from overcooking on one side. That exercise prepared me for where I was going in life. My dad was born in Chicago, IL but raised in Longview, Texas. I grew up learning how to grill good old hickory-smoked country bbq. My dad had a pit made out of two bathtubs set on top of each other. That pit brings a smile to my face everytime I see it. I began by selling barbecue from a trailer on an Arlington street corner to make a little extra cash and share my barbecue on the weekends. Customers would come from far away just to get a taste
I had to shut my popular operation down. I used that moment to motivate me to pursue my dream. I was an employee for AT&T for 18 years when I felt I had more in me. So I saw a storefront available for rent at 215 W. Camp Wisdom rd. Ste 3 in Duncanville TX, I had my wife Katrina Harris, call to inquire about the monthly cost on the rent. After negotiating a lease, we were able to birth Smokey D’z BBQ & Catering.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth ride. When I started Smokey D’z BBQ & Catering, I didn’t have a plan. All I had was a vision and a building. After I leased, the building reality hit that you need money. I had a little money in my personal account. I didn’t have any money in my business account. When going into business, you want to make sure you have enough capital to sustain. One of my biggest challenges was trying to sustain with a little money. I was blessed to get a business loan for a few thousand dollars. Later on, I realized that you needed more than a little money. Hiring the right team members was a big struggle I had to overcome. It’s hard to find team members with as much passion for your spot as you have. You need a great team and system in place in order for a business to run smooth.
Smokey D’z BBQ & Catering – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are Smokey D’z BBQ & Catering. We’re Home Of The Back Yard BBQ and famous CakeDaddy Cake Bowls. We specialize in tender, juicy hickory wood-smoked barbecue. Our top-selling item is The Smokey D’z Loaded Sloppy Mess Potato. It’s filled with all of our meats and homemade barbecue sauce. It makes me proud to see young people in my business learning about entrepreneurship and how to run a restaurant. I hold no secrets in teaching about this business. I believe by being a giver to our community, school district, first responders and feeding our front line team that’s out here fighting against the pandemic to save lives. Smokey D’z just recently prepared meals to be feed to several hospitals, including Methodist Dallas, Charlton Hospital of Dallas, Vibra of Dallas and Richardson, Methodist Richardson. We feed over 3000 front line workers. We put our heart and soul in giving back and providing great customer service to our customers. That’s what sets us apart from everyone else.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, to me, is sustaining and profiting. If I’m able to pay my bills and replenish my inventory along with maintaining repetitive happy customers, that’s success to me.
- 1 meat Loaded Bake Potato 9.99
- 2 meat plate w/2 sides 12.99
- 1 pound of ribs 18.69
- Website: www.smokeydzbbq.com
- Phone: 469 802-6288
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/smkydzbbq
- Facebook: facebook.com/smokeydzbbq
Katch picture perfect