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Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Jun 2, 2017

Brad Cooper (@CoopsBBQ) of Coops BBQ 




Ole Hickory Pits:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship:

San Diego Reader Article on Coops West Texas BBQ:

San Diego Eater Article on Brad Cooper of Coops BBQ:

Coop's BBQ on Yelp's 2016 Top 100 Places to Eat:

- Brad Cooper, Owner of Coops West Texas BBQ located in Lemon Grove, San Diego

- Congrats to Fern's BBQ for taking 1st place in recent Backyard BBQ Competition:

- Beef Jerky from Valley Farm Market is a MUST TRY:

- Sam's BBQ in Texas with great rib tips:

- Coop moved back to Texas in '96 and was around BBQ and soul food because his Dad was running a BBQ shop

- Coop moved back to San Diego around '98 and brought his love for BBQ back to SD and started trying as much BBQ as he could

- Coop tried Phil's BBQ and saw an opportunity for himself:

- Coop started to notice the lack of good BBQ in San Diego, especially Texas style BBQ

- Before BBQ, Coop was a nurse for about 11 years

- Coop's has a "Big Boy Smoker" that is black & red that sits outside the restaurant

- BBQ started out as a passion/hobby for Coops then it turned into real idea to start a business

- The first Coop's BBQ started in 2010

- In Southern California, a good BBQ spot becomes a "destination location"

- Coop's BBQ is doing very well on Yelp:

- Your regulars can help the business go around

- "You can never get content in this business, you can ALWAYS strive to be better"

- "Complacency kills in the BBQ business"

- In the past 6 years, BBQ has really improved in San Diego

- Understanding why Texas BBQ doesn't have tons of BBQ sauce smothered all over

- Texas BBQ has sauce on the SIDE

- Ole Hickory Pits at Valley Farm Market BBQ Shack

- When opening a second location, the quality of the food can’t change and should strive to be the same experience no matter which location

- McDonalds does a great job at having the same product no matter which location

- Coop announcing to Facebook that Da Chicken Coop is closing:

- As a business owner, you realize there are no days off

- Turnover is crazy in most restaurants with younger kids working - kids expecting things to come to them without working hard for it

- Millennials and the majority of their work ethics

- "If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it out!"

- People eat and buy with their eyes

- Cali Comfort BBQ tried everything, even executive chefs, no chef needed now that they have Gene Goycochea

- What do you do when you have to close down a new business venture?

- New things on the horizon for Coop's BBQ

- BBQ/Mexican food infusion spot coming soon?

- Smoked chicken rolled tacos and tortas

- A big rule in business "DON'T RUSH IT"

- "Senor Coops" - chicken & waffles & southern fried fish

- The importance of having a good landlord when owning a business

- Restaurants can have such great impacts on communities

- Benefit for the Lemon Grove Little League Baseball Team at Coop's BBQ:

- Owning a successful business isn’t the rainbows and butterflies that everyone thinks it is, it is a daily grind

- Coop's employees know that when they walk in the door for their shift, that's when the show starts!

- On Yelp, going from a 4.5 star rating to a 4 star rating can really hurt a business

- Coops BBQ loves catering - weddings are favored:

- For those who are interested in starting a business... "Make sure you are PASSIONATE about your craft"

- Cali Comfort BBQ currently has 88 employees because they care about the GUEST EXPERIENCE

- Coop's BBQ will be at the Del Mar BBQ Championship

- "Never be afraid to fail while trying to succeed. You always have to get back up and try again."

- Try the Imperial Valley Carne Asada at Valley Farm Market:

Get in Touch

Derek Marso -

Shawn Walchef -

Cory Wagner -

Valley Farm Market - -

Cali Comfort BBQ - - -

Behind The Smoke - -

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