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Ask the Owner: Why the Barbecue Business?

The owner of Whole Hog Cafe North Little Rock, Rich Cosgrove, answers a question he's frequently asked: Why did you get into the barbeque business?


I often ask myself that question. Actually, when I graduated from college, someone gave me a small charcoal smoker. I quickly became fascinated with the ancient art and science of the preservation of meat through smoking, drying and curing, so I began experimenting with various techniques.

I built smokers out of old appliances, a car and a trashcan. I even smoked a turkey on the ground covered with a cardboard box once to prove that you don’t need an elaborate setup to smoke meat. All you need are three things: a source of heat, a source of smoke, and a piece of meat.

Fast forward to 2007 when Nancy and I opened Whole Hog Café North Little Rock. Basically, it’s a hobby that kind of got out of hand. Today we smoke 3 to 3 ½ tons of meat each week to sell at the restaurant and through Whole Hog Café North Little Rock Catering. It’s really gratifying to see hundreds of people each day truly enjoying what we do here.

After over ten years in business, I love that my regular catering customers call me or text me on my cell phone when they need something. North Little Rock has been very good to us; and we love what we do!

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