Our story begins over thirty years ago when we first realized that eating a plant-based diet was a choice we could make. Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle became not only a new journey, but a passion woven deeply into the fabric of our lives. At that time, at least in the south, vegetarian restaurant and grocery offerings were minimal at best.
Fast forward to 2016… fate kindly smiled on us when Jeni met Andy, a dedicated Special Education teacher hired to help with our eldest daughter. After introducing her to our three pigs, we discovered a rare vegetarian commonality that paved the way for a special and unique bond.
A seed had been planted, but fate had even more in store for 2017.
Having recently sold a successful business, Lee was beginning to ponder what the next stage of life would bring. Traveling and seeking out unique vegetarian fare had become a favorite pastime of the Cooper family. Living in the heart of the Carolinas, finding a plant-based barbecue sandwich was at the top of our list. We loved this tasty delicacy and although it could be found, it was a rare find indeed. This search was to become the spark and fuel that would drive Lee’s next venture. Could we possibly create a plant-based modern take on this traditional southern food and, therefore, opportunity for everyone to enjoy a new plant-based twist on this traditional southern ritual? Lee had the business prowess to make this happen. But there was a missing piece to the puzzle.
Enter Zack, a millennial with a special skill set. As Lee pondered this new endeavor, we were gradually learning more about Andy’s husband. He too, we discovered, was plant-based. But even more astonishing… Zack had a degree in food science; recently attended culinary school; and was itching to make an impact in the food industry.
Coincidence? We think not. Zack would provide an important piece of the puzzle and we, this unlikely trio, wasted no time in getting started.
In October of 2017, Barvecue ® was born!
Now we are off on the journey to connect with people and share the Barvecue brand. We aim to bring the best tasting barbecue to vegetarians, omnivores, and adventurous carnivores around the globe… wherever they may be.
We hope you will become a part of our extended Barvecue family!
lee, jeni & zack