Leave it to my dad to always come up with the most epic ideas; for the second year in a row now we have gotten together and brought to life a pop-up BBQ shop solely for the Strawberry Festival in our hometown of Arroyo Grande. This festival is famous on the central coast of California, bringing in thousands of tourists and families to our area over Memorial Day weekend. It’s full of food, hundreds of crafts and display booths, and of course, strawberries in every variation you can think of!Click here to see all the details on the festival, we would love to have you stop by next year!

As always, when he presented the idea we were slightly unsure, that is until we saw the Mama Q’s logo (named after my mom Dana.) We quickly came to our senses and realized what an epic mini business this would be. In our very large family and friends circle we had no problem rounding up a great posse to make Mama Q’s possible, all of them are listed below 🙂

The Reizebos Family, Ventura cousins and Jordan, Sweet Anna Slaughter, Rob and Lori Gillespie, Steve and Mary Adlesh, our Serbian crew, The Hardy boys and Kim, Hailey, and our best little helpers, the Baron kids!

The night before the festival we ran around putting the finishing touches on everything and getting pumped up for whatever was to come the next day. We had  finished writing our large (and extensive) chalk board menu, salted the hundreds of pounds of meat and stuffed them into the smokers, set up the booth with the help of the Gyphon Society and poor Stacy Reizebos spent 3 hours making the chili. (Bless your generous heart, we love you!)

Let the meat sweats begin!! Tri-tip, brisket, ribs, pulled pork flew out of our booth all day on Saturday as customers ordered meal after meal… “Combo? Drink? Sandwich?” could be heard in the front as we swiped cards and took cash, delivering a hot sandwich with coleslaw and beans to our hungry fairgoers, for what seemed like every 10 seconds. At one point we even had my niece Edi, a 9-year-old, taking orders like a champ.

We spent the entire day laughing and smiling, answering the same question of where our restaurant was located more times than we could count! It took every customer by surprise when explained that we were just a big group of family and friends doing this for fun, one weekend of the year.

Having Wyatt there this year was an adjustment for the better, his naps were all in the front pack, I changed him on top of giant sanitary storage boxes (see below) and when my arms were dying and the orders were picking up my cousin Grace, the baby whisperer, took him and he slept for three hours on her…which was mama heaven for me!

We had such a blast all weekend, the genuine happiness of all of those that helped out was unreal, not to mention all of the happy bellies that enjoyed our food too! When your passion for the job overrides the longing for the money, success is bound to happen, and it did!

There is something so unique and special about our little town “AG,” it allows our big dreams (especially my dads) to also become our blessed reality and Mama Q’s is the greatest testament to that!