Charlie B’s Texas Bar-B-Que

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Carl Everett is the owner of Charlie B’s Texas Bar-B-Que and credits his childhood and the numerous lessons he received from his parents for the success that he has been able to achieveas a business owner. Carl has always had an affinity for cooking. It has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember: waking up early on weekend, and spending countless hours in the kitchen with his mom. This allowed him to hone his craft and begin to develop a love for cooking. It was his mother’s teachings in the kitchen and the hours he spent working for his dad’s business that molded him into the man he is today, cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in the early stages of life.

For several years, Carl worked at Boeing as an armed security officer with top level clearance, all the while saving up to one day open his own barbecue business. About eight years ago, Boeing began to undergo many changes and his job was outsourced. Carl knew that this was a sign; it was time for him to do what he loved and open his barbecue business. He didn’t have some elaborate plan but he had conviction and a desire to be successful. He used the money that he had saved from his time at Boeing to purchase a huge trailer that he attached his grill to and hopped on the road. With this trailer he played the jazz circuit, another one of his passions. The festivals began in New Orleans in the spring and traveled all the way up to New York through the summer. Carl would attend these jazz festivals and get a station where he would be able to cook and sell his barbecue. He quickly earned a reputation amongst the festival crowd, becoming well known by most attendees.

After a couple years on the festival circuit, Carl decided he would sell his trailer and open his own restaurant so the people could come to him. As Carl began to develop his business plan, he began seeking out help in finding a building and also with financial projections. This is when he got in contact with the Widener University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and began working with business consultants. Carl recalls the frustrations and struggles he had early on in his meetings with his SBDC consultant, which he can now laugh at. He recalls, “I would bring my plan to [my consultant] and he’d mark it up with a red pen, and say this is not what I want. Then I would go home, fix it and bring it back and he’d say nope this is still not what I want. So I would go home do some more work on it and bring it back, and he’d pull that red pen right back out and say nope this still isn’t good enough. This happened about four times and the fifth time I said to myself, 'He better take this one today, because if he doesn’t I’m through.' Well, that day he said to me, 'Now this is what I’ve been waiting for; I don’t know what took you so long.' That was one of the best moments of my life: I felt so accomplished.”

Carl has been working with the Widener University SBDC for the last two years, getting a plan together to be able to start his own business. On November 13, 2014, Carl saw his dreams become a reality. All the hard work, the long hours, the moments of uncertainty, had all been worth it. Carl had a huge grand opening and people from all over, including the mayor of Chester, came to see what this new barbecue spot was about. Carl wants to be an example for other business owners, and residents of Chester. Carl mentions, “This is the start of something different in Chester, because if we from Chester invest in our own city, it will attract others.” Carl has been a lifelong resident of Chester and remembers how the city used to be, and he plans on being one of the pioneers of bringing back the city. Carl loves the success but reiterates that “there’s beauty in the struggle and the process, and that it makes success more special and fulfilling.”