Jim Walker loves his barbecue, and he wants other people to love it, too.

A few years ago, he began doing barbecue like most people: out on his back patio. A cousin suggested he could make a business of it.

Now he serves pork butt and brisket sandwiches, smoked cabbage with bacon, stuffed jalapeño “armadillos” and ribs twice a week out of his food truck at locations around Nashville.

“A stuffed jalapeño with meat and specialty cheeses and spices — I throw some bacon over it, skewer it, and barbecue that — that’s an armadillo.”

It’s still more of a hobby than a full-time business for Walker, who is retired, but it’s a hobby he is passionate about.

He slices the cabbage about an inch thick, seasons it with garlic oil and other seasonings, throws bacon on, wraps it all in foil and cooks it. “I’ve got actually some customers that want just cabbage,” he said.

His specialty — and the source of at least a couple of return customers — is the ribs.

“People are just raving about the ribs,” he said. “They told me not to change anything.”

He uses wood to smoke all his meat, taking his time from start to finish. “It’s all time-consuming, delicious-ending.”

He smokes the ribs the day of, rolling into his location for the day around 5 a.m. to get started, Walker said.

“I get the cooker fired up and get it up to temperature, and then I put the ribs on usually around 5 or 6. So, they’re done around 11 o’clock,” he said.

He stays open until he’s sold out, usually between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., but sometimes as late as 4 p.m.

The only thing he puts barbecue sauce on before it reaches the customer are the ribs, Walker said.

“Between eight to 12 hours of smoking, I hate to see that go out the door with a sauce,” he said.

Everything is weather and schedule permitting, and there are no plans to grow, he said.

“I don’t want to get too awful big. I don’t want to have to get to where I have to hire people,” he said. “A big part of the thing to me is when people are complimenting on how good it was. That means as much to me as the money does.”


Brown County IGA parking lot: 11 a.m. to sold out Fridays and Saturdays.

Ben Kibbey is a Brown County transplant from the cornfields of central Ohio. He covers county government, business, outdoors, sports and general news.