John Riesebeck, owner of Smokin’ J’s BBQ, a Texas style barbeque restaurant in Gulfport, Florida, is no stranger to growth opportunities. Starting his business with just $14 in his pocket, he purchased meat and buns to make the pulled pork sandwiches he’d sell later that day at a local truck stop. He sold out that first day and one truck stop quickly turned into three. Then he purchased a food truck, later making the leap to find permanent residence by purchasing a two-bedroom, one-bath house, and retrofitting it into what would later become a well-known haunt for locals and tourists alike, offering the best barbeque in the Tampa Bay area.
Making It Work
Getting the house set up as a proper restaurant didn’t happen overnight, and John needed cash flow to make it work. In the beginning he shared a walk-in cooler offsite and utilized two household refrigerators in the kitchen. He set up a barrel meat smoker in the garage and a dishwashing station in the laundry room.
The arrangement was a temporary fix, and it would not be long until John’s business grew to the point that he needed to invest in professional grade equipment. That’s when he heard about BFS Capital.
He started off with an initial investment of $45,000 to purchase his own walk-in cooler. As his business grew, John decided to make another investment, then another, funding with BFS Capital a total of six times. Each time purchasing equipment, including his own walk-in cooler and two smokers that can cook 700 pounds of meat each at a time—all of which would help his business run more efficiently and grow.
Reaping the Benefits
The added capacity has allowed him to participate in local festivals and events that bring in new business. “I have people frequent my restaurant from Sarasota, Orlando, and all over Citrus County,” said John. “People who are vacationing from Europe come to my restaurant then follow me on Facebook and make it a point to let me know when they are coming back to town. They end up eating here five out of seven nights a week because it’s like a home away from home,” he states proudly.
BFS Capital echoes that pride. It’s exactly why we’re here…to help small businesses like Smokin’ J’s BBQ grow.