What he discovered during this time, was that he still had barbeque in his blood!
Clay Caldwell grew up on his family’s pig farm in Snowflake, Arizona. Snowflake Pig Farms, Inc. began in 1966 and went from 21 pigs to 70,000 in their heyday. Clay was in charge of animal health and managed several units on the farm. Clay built his own farm of 3,000 pigs in 1983 but kept a working relationship with his family farm. In 1992, Clay was recognized as Pork All American. While in Des Moines, Iowa, for the awards ceremony, he purchased a Texas smoker. Upon returning to Arizona, he would barbeque for his farm employees, family, and friends, until it became a “bad” habit.
On January 6, 1993, Clay decided to fulfill his dream of a BBQ restaurant. He took his smoker to Mesa, Arizona, and started his first BBQ where he stayed for 21 years. During this time, Clay opened five stores around the state of Arizona. His forte is starting concepts and he intricately understands the operations, systems, and margins required for a successful restaurant business. In 2014, Clay decided to retire from the BBQ restaurant business and sold the restaurant to his partner.
He went on six different Central Texas BBQ tours, as well as a Kansas City and Memphis tour. During his research, he came across Aaron Franklin in Austin, Texas. Aaron inspired Clay to bring the Central Texas BBQ concept to Arizona. This concept is Texas meat-market style but incorporates our own local twist such as citrus and chili flavors. It will include:
- Simple, back-to-basics BBQ
- All natural, responsibly raised meat
- 100% wood — no gas, no electricity