Wade Reich began operating Pell City Texaco with this partners Tim and Alyson Jackson in 2008. “Food World across the street had always set up a smoker outside and cooked on holidays. When they went out, we started doing it, and people started asking for it more often. By Memorial Day 2009, we were smoking butts and ribs, and after that July 4, we were doing it every weekend.
“I was out there on the smoker one day, and a guy pulled up and asked if we had ‘sammiches.’ S-a-m-m-i-c-h-e-s. ‘Sammiches.’ So I thought, ‘Well, I guess we gotta start selling sandwiches now.” The barbeque sandwich is now one of Butts to Go’s top-selling items.
The menu includes whole Boston butts, pulled pork, spare ribs, baby back ribs, wings and a variety of sides, sandwiches and biscuits.
Wade Reich grew up in the food business, but not necessarily with barbeque. His first job was bagging groceries at Piggly Wiggly, and after graduating college, he opened a restaurant in Gadsden in an old hotel his grandfather that bought in 1894. “What do you do with an old building? We turned it into a nostalgic restaurant.”
Reich eventually began working with supermarket promotions. “You’ve seen the displays where if you buy so much in groceries you get a porcelain china plate for 59 cents? That was us.” Supermarket games and stamps took him to London, Paris and the Middle East before he returned to Alabama. “The opportunities here have been good, but we’ve done nothing splendorous. We’ve just followed our nose and built it up gradually.”
“Everybody’s got their favorite barbeque place, and we have really good, loyal customers. We count our blessings, because we wouldn’t be there without them.”