Today we’d like to introduce you to John Hopping.
John, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The roots of Hoppy’s Barbeque date back to around 2000 when I hosted a pig roast for some family and friends. The pig roast turned into an annual affair and an event that no one wanted to miss. Encouraged by compliments of the quality of the food, I agreed to cater a backyard barbeque for a friend. By 2008, I had hosted more than thirty such events for groups as small as ten and as many as 200. With each event, the menu and the process was refined and improved and an inventory of cooking equipment grew. I even built my own smoker and grills. During the winter months, I would experiment with different recipes. When the restaurant at the end of my street became available, I was fortunate enough to be able to expand my business from catering to eat in/take out restaurant.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think that starting a business from scratch is always challenging. Being an auto body mechanic by trade, I didn’t really know much about the restaurant business but with each day, I learn a little more. I think the hardest part is not actually knowing how much food to cook. Some days we will run out of food and other days we are left with so much extra. That’s when we get creative. One of our top sellers is our Pulled Pork Eggrolls, which are our Thursday special. They go quick and we usually run out by 4pm.
Please tell us about Hoppy’s Barbeque.
Our business is barbeque. It’s hard to find a good barbeque restaurant in the New England area though there are a couple that I actually go to but not in my area.
Everything we serve is homemade and I think that people like that. You know you’re not getting anything out of a can when you come in to eat. Even our fries are hand cut fresh right in front of you. And I think the fact that we have a lot of regulars and that we know them on a first name basis means a lot. It is more welcoming. We take the time to talk to our customers and get to know them.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I think it would probably be going up to Vermont to visit relatives there. They would do their own sugaring and we would always come home with gallons of maple syrup.
Though they don’t do sugaring anymore, my wife, son and I still go up and get it from their neighbors. It’s what we use in our baked beans and I wouldn’t make them any other way.
- Address: 38 Forest Street
Peabody, MA 01960
- Website: www.hoppysbarbeque.com
- Phone: 978-278-5014
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HoppysBarbeque/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel