Richard Green is the owner of J-BIRD’S BBQ, a food truck and catering business. Pre-COVID, Green ‘s barbeque business was in the Ol’ Tymers BBQ and Blues building located at 2207 Gault Ave N Fort Payne, (located near the North-Y). Currently his food truck can be found most Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. till dark in the parking lot at this location.
In addition to selling barbeque out of his food truck, Green caters to corporations, family reunions, weddings, and festivals. Green has discovered keeping his business limited to just himself and a couple of other workers has proven to be advantageous. This is due to the fact that, especially now during COVID, it is difficult to find workers. He is not opposed to returning to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the future, but said finding enough help is one of the hardest parts of owning a restaurant. He currently feels his main goal is to expand his food truck business.
J-BIRD’S BBQ sells homemade food. “All my food is from scratch,” said Green. “Nothing comes out of a can or a package. We boil the potatoes for potato salad and we grate the cabbage for the coleslaw.” Green smokes and seasons the meats he serves on an outdoor pit over hickory wood. He sources locally, as much as possible, to provide his customers with the freshest food.
The menu offers; pork, chicken, brisket, ribs, burgers, turkey legs and more. Sides include macaroni and cheese, fries, slaw, beans, and potato salad. Customers can order nachos and dessert as well. The business is basically a TO-GO order business, but Green has a few tables and chairs positioned behind his food truck for customers who wish to eat on location.
Green, who was born and raised here, gives credit for his ability to cook, bake, and barbeque to his family. “It was really by accident that I learned to cook,” said Green. “My mother’s mother, my Mamaw (Arlene Jelks) had arthritis and so I helped her in the kitchen. She was slow due to her illness and I was a growing boy who was hungry and so to speed things up, so I could eat sooner, I helped her. Little did I realize I was learning a skill that would prove to be useful later in life.” Green also acknowledges his uncle Ralph Jelks and his grandfather-in-law Manuel Lee for his talent at making what he calls “old-school barbeque.”
Green said he wants to thank the community for their support. “The community has always shown me love,” said Green. “I try to reflect that love back to them in the food I make.”
— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.