By Sterling McGinn
John Styes has been working in food service since he was 11 years old. It’s all he knows, professionally, and he’s cooking “low and slow” barbecue these days from right here in Newberry.
Styes opened a mobile barbecue business with his wife, Jamie, in Newberry in June. Jamie also has history working in food service, so owning a barbeque business was a perfect fit for the couple.
It’s been a long time coming, if you ask their friends.
“Since we have been married, we have cooked for other people, and hosted events at our house,” John said. “We had a lot of people encourage us to do our own thing.”
Since opening up for business this summer, the pair has had their trailer at the demolition derby, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital parking lot, and at events in Manistique, Grand Marais, and St. Ignace.
Although the business does not have daily hours, they advertise their hours and locations on their Facebook page at Styes Guys UP BBQ.
Some of the items they feature on their menu include: smoked pork and/or briskets made into three kinds of street tacos, along with sandwiches and macaroni and cheese.
Not only are the Styes running their food business, along with commercial kitchen equipment, they are working on opening a bed and breakfast in Newberry.
The historic house located on West Harrie Street was originally constructed in 1886 as the St. Gregory’s Catholic Church rectory.
Now in the construction stage, the future bed and breakfast will have five bedrooms with a shared bathroom on the second floor. Downstairs will offer a community room, a living area, and a kitchenette. It’s a work in progress, and the Styes haven’t set a date to open the bed and breakfast for business.
When they are open, they’re also planning to run a commissary for the barbeque business on the first floor of the bed and breakfast.
“We would like to eventually be opened daily, said Jamie Styes. “I am anxious for summer, so we can have picnic tables in the yard and cornhole.”
The Styes are planning to keep their trailer open throughout the winter and can be scheduled for special events as well.
Keeping it fresh, they’re also adding new things to their menu. “We are starting with some new items that we would like to try,” explained John Styes. “We like to hear what people think.”