Saturday was one of those almost but not quite days for the Campbell County boys soccer team. Top-ranked and consensus favorite to win the Class 4A state soccer tournament, the Camels fell just …
LONGMONT, Colo. — Business at Georgia boys BBQ Co. has taken off almost since the first day the doors opened. And while "the shack" is still jumping, the two owners have veered off into a new direction.
Nick Reckinger and Matt Alexander have been guaranteed an audience of a few hundred people each day, after striking a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration to take over cafeteria duties for the Denver Center, the FAA's facility here.
"Basically they've been having subpar service for the past couple years, and through this business (Georgia boys' original location), a lot of controllers come through here and they recommended us to take over the service," Reckinger said.
The arrangement calls for Georgia boys to provide breakfast and lunch at the center Monday through Friday. Reckinger said their goal is to compete with any of the other lunch options near the facility that controllers and other staff could drive to, and do it at a better price than they'd pay eating somewhere else.
And they're stretching out well beyond their traditional barbecue and sandwich menu, they said.
"We get to experiment with recipes," Reckinger said. "We now have a little bit different equipment to work on so we can try some new things out."
"It's almost like our test kitchen," added Alexander.
The pair just started cooking at the facility last week. Biscuits and gravy, omelets to order and blueberry cornbread muffins have been on the breakfast menu, and for lunch they've featured an open-face green chili burger with their homemade green chili.
"We have plans to open other restaurants, and they don't have to be barbecue," Alexander said.
Georgia boys BBQ (Reckinger and Alexander both are Georgia natives) was started by the two in their home kitchens. They took bagged barbecue lunches around to Boulder County businesses and found an instantly positive response. A friend of theirs spotted what they affectionately call "the shack" on Craigslist, and since it had been home to a commercial kitchen it was already equipped to suit their needs.
But they've added on to the back of the shack and have added several more, and bigger, smokers since those early days.
They're still stuck with a pretty cramped kitchen, though, and that's another advantage of the FAA kitchen -- the sheer amount of space gives them a lot of room to do prep work more efficiently.
"You can only have so much going on at one time" in their Collyer Street kitchen, Reckinger said.
Since moving into the shack in July 2011, Georgia boys blew out a wall and added seating inside where there had been none. In the past year they also added more picnic tables out front, started selling T-shirts and jars of rub and added a line of sandwiches to the menu.
In the summer months, nearly a third of their business comes from catering, they said.
"The wedding business is out the roof — we're booking weddings a year out now," Alexander said.
On tap for 2013, besides doing the FAA thing: They plan to expand their ordering area and the front porch; they hope to participate in some barbecue competitions, which they haven't had time for; and they hope to participate in more festivals — that's what "the big boy" is for, a smoker about the size of a small pickup that can smoke 1,000 pounds of meat at a time.
The two were quick to credit their crew: They said having people like Tim Armour, their kitchen manager, frees them up to pursue other things to try to grow the business.