By: Jennifer Dearborn
Nestled in behind Mountain State Brewery at 51 Nelson Blvd. in Thomas is J’s Backyard BBQ. Currently open Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. J’s offers daily specials, local and first respondes discounts, delivery to Davis and Thomas, outdoor picnic tables, and drive-thru services.
Heather Ferrari and James Little made the decision to do what would allow them more time with their children and opened J’s BBQ in Thomas. “We just took a vacation two weeks ago and that’s the first one we’ve had in two years” Heather says this is why they left their jobs and opened this business.
Little said he starts smoking the food between 4:30-5 a.m. When asked how he makes it so good Little says “A lot of work and a lot of love”. Little was raised in the BBQ business. His father owns Willards BBQ Junction in Florida and Georgia. His family has been selling BBQ since the 1940s.
Little first introduced Thomas to his BBQ in 2020. “I sold my ribs there and every time we would sell out”. People come from Oakland and Morgantown just to get his BBQ. WVU Men’s Basketball Coach Huggins frequently comes to purchase food.
Little does have future plans to make, bottle, and sell some of his BBQ sauces. “I’ve already purchased some jars to start bottling and selling sauces” said Little “trying to find the time to get them done is challenging. We’ve been extremely busy here.”
With a family of boys, you can often find the whole family in and around the food trailer helping out. “This is why we did this,” said Ferrari, “we want to have a business that not only allows us more time with our boys but one that they can step in and help out when needed”.
Ferrari and Little pride themselves on buying and supporting the locals. All his hogs are locally bought. They also offer a 10% discount to all locals. Any on-duty first responder will also get 50% off while on duty. Ferrari does offer delivery to Davis and Thomas. They are available to do catering, but their schedule is filling up quickly for the summer.
Look for J’s Backyard BBQ in the bank parking lot during Mountaineer Days.