The Smoke Docs: curin’ what ails ya

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By Brad Bowman

Henry County’s Smoke Doctors want to cure your hunger and help collect food for families in Henry County.

What started off as a small business venture for three Henry County High School football coaches has expanded to offer a carryout menu for county residents.

Cofounder Tony Moffett said continued local support keeps the sauce flowing and the barbecue smoking.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the continued local support,” Moffett said. “That’s why we hope to draw a lot of people out here Saturday for the Henry County Family Resource Center and get food to the people that need it.”

This Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. The Smoke Doctors will give those that donate three canned goods a free pulled pork sandwich, drink and a bag of chips at their permanent site at 2898 La Grange Road just outside of New Castle. The Smoke Doctors will offer carryout service beginning Nov. 29, Thursdays,  through Saturday, from 4-7 p.m.

“It’s good for us and the community,” Moffett said. “We will have handouts to give everyone with our carryout menu on it.”

Moffett and his partners wanted to offer their barbecue and keep it simple.

“We won’t open a sit down restaurant. We wanted to do this on our time when we wanted to,” Moffett said. “We did our first cooking with a smoker after a football practice. We decided we should have a go at it as a business and see what we could do.”

Lyndon Johnson, Mount Hadden and Moffett all collaborated on the infancy of Smoke Doctors.

“We had to learn how to use our smokers. We use oak and cherry pits in it for flavor,” Moffett said. “We started going with our sandwiches, setting up at street corners and we experimented for six months with the sauce. I said guys I think we are missing the boat here.”

Hadden and Moffett came together with their own concoctions of barbecue sauce and put the two recipes together.

“We struck a deal with a guy in Louisville to produce it in his kitchen,” Moffett said. “We started from scratch to design the label, the bottle and what we wanted it to look like. Then Lyndon said we need a spicy one and we made a spicy version too.”

According to Moffett, Smoke Doctors barbecue sauce combines all the great things about barbecue and its regional possibilities.

“We took a little bit from Memphis, Texas and Carolina barbecue. We put together something nobody had really done.”

Moffett’s wife convinced him of another now popular product he hadn’t considered.

“She said people enjoyed pickles with their barbecue. I don’t usually put it on mine, but now we have our own premium spicy dills,” he said.

Each bottle comes with a D’arbol whole pepper and butter chip cut pickles seasoned with garlic and other natural spices. 

“They have gone over really well. We were at the Starview Greenhouse on Memorial Day to test them out and sold a gallon each day. The workers came back asking us for more and we literally sold out of them.”

Since Johnson’s passing in 2011, remaining founding member Hadden wanted to spend more time with his son. Johnson’s daughter and her husband, Jessica and Michael Wilkerson have joined as partners, along with two more.

“Lyndon’s wife Chelan and Lyndon’s brother Mark Johnson and his wife Marya,” Moffett said. “We all sat down and hammered out an agreement with equal shares in the business. We’ve been very successful. We’ve been able to put this building up and now we can move some business through here.”

The Smoke Doctors cater and are classified as a commissary so they can cook food for catering events without having to prepare it on a catering site.

“We smoke whole chickens, pork loins, ribs and pork butts,” Moffett said. “We smoke butts for about an hour to an hour and a half, whole chickens for a couple of hours, ribs get smoked for about 4 hours. We will also offer comfort food side items like macaroni and cheese, slaw and beans.”

Smoke Doctors offer catering for any size group or event, pickup or delivery and can offer set up and service for events.

“I thought of all of the things we could do when we started this business, but one of our very first jobs was a wake where the family didn’t want to have to worry about food,” Moffett said. “We are very thankful and have enjoyed a lot of local support. I handle the social media and emails, but we have been mostly successful by word of mouth.”

For more information about Smoke Doctors find them on Facebook or visit their website at : www.smokedoctors.com.


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