|Big R built his first smoker in the valley in Sulfur Srings, Arkansas, from a refrigerator shell, in 1983. After debuting his hickory smoked meats to family and friends, what began as a hobby soon became a fledgling business. Big R quickly went from smoking his "smokerator" to a larger homemade smoker fashioned from a retired Guys potato chip wagon. This turned smoking meats in the valley to a portable hickory smoked meals on wheels! Thus began Big R's meat route. Big R traveled throughout the ozarks pedaling hickory smoked delicacies to area businesses. After perfecting his own Bar-B-Que sauce, demand became apparent. Big R had to open his own restaurant. Thus the first Big R's Bar-B-Que opened on Main Street in Noel, Mo. in 1985. This small (very small) place gave Big R the outlet he needed, along with feed back, to perfect his loinback ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork butt. Hard work and dedication went into his thriving business and raves from customers made him declare...Big R's Bar-B-Que...."We Have the Meat You Can't Beat!"
Big R along with his wife decided to do it right and expanded from his small restaurant in Noel to a larger spot on 71 Hwy. in Anderson, Mo. The larger work area gave more kitchen space allowing Mrs. R to perfect some of her grandmothers recipes, creamy cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, and yes....pies (crust being the most important part). Family recipes paired with Big R's hickory smoked meats made for a winning combination.
Over the years business has grown and changed, along with the Big R family. Big R and Mrs. R raised three healthy (well fed) children. The oldest being Twyla, who now runs Big R's on 15th in Joplin. Big R's still specializes in hickory smoked meats, hand-cut steaks, and homemade desserts (Mrs. R still makes the pies). The Big R family still does things the "old fashioned" way. Hickory smoked meats, using real hickory wood, steaks cut daily, and Suzie Q's fresh cut and fried to order. And Grandma's recipes are still prepared daily. The Big R family remains proud to stand by our slogan....Big R's .... "We Have the Meat You Can't Beat!"