Rick Scott and Ryan Pitz teamed up to form The North Carolina Barbecue Company, a mail order business established “to deliver to doorsteps across the country the unique culinary culture of our great state.” The North Carolina Barbecue Company is unique in offering both Eastern and Piedmont/Lexington-style ‘cue and slaw for delivery. Recently I sat down (at my laptop) and interviewed Rick and Ryan about how they got into the barbecue business, battle boxes, and why mail order hush puppies are an elusive goal.
“We’d like to send you our Battle Box. Up for it?” That was the opening line of an email I received recently from Ryan Pitz of the fledgling North Carolina Barbecue Company (NCBC), a mail order barbecue business that debuted a couple of months ago. Given my selfless commitment to conducting research that benefits all of humanity, I had no qualms about accepting Pitz’s offer.*
Longtime readers may recall my first foray into mail order pork, when a friend of mine named Governor Schwarzenoinker taste tested some of King’s Oink Express menu items shipped from Kinston to San Francisco. Prior to NCBC’s debut, the Oink Express had few rivals in terms of a well-oiled mail order barbecue machine (though Brookwood Farms now sells its pork online). If the Oink Express is well-oiled, then the North Carolina Barbecue Company is downright slick. They have a smooth looking and informative website, a Facebook page, a very cool logo that is a play on the state seal, and even a Twitter feed. In short, they don’t seem to be bound by the unofficial NC barbecue business creed: it’s better if nobody knows your company exists. As a mail order business with no retail presence NCBC is wise to ignore this tradition and market themselves anyway they can. (And if that means sending free pork to the likes of me, so be it!)
The NC Barbecue Company is the brainchild of two people. According to his online bio, Pitz, a Virginia native, “became a true NC BBQ convert after having lived in Greensboro, NC for nearly a decade.” His business partner Rick Scott hails from High Point and ”was raised on the piedmont style and exposed to the eastern style while in school down east.” Pitz and Scott recognized a (more…)