Barbecue: A key ingredient to happiness in the Carolinas
Southern soul food. Hog heaven. BBQ. Barbeque.
No matter what you call it — or how you spell it — barbecue is a tradition that’s deeply rooted in the Carolinas. Just like our tradition of giving back to our home is deeply rooted in who we are.
In April, we were excited to donate Pepsi products to the Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee BBQ Festival. The event, which featured local barbecue, benefited single-parent kids.
This wasn’t our first barbecue. So we got to thinking — what is it that makes barbecue such a popular food to gather around? Why is it the focal point for so many community fundraisers and events? And why do people love it so much?
For Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee, it’s about bringing different people together.
“It also helps us keep our name fresh in the community’s mind,” said executive director Joey Edwards. “Good food, good people and a great cause make this a fun and worthwhile event.”
For the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club, BBQ is intertwined with a tradition of family fun combined with friendly competition. This month, Pepsi has been pleased to support the annual Peak City Pig Fest in Apex to benefit various charities.
For us, barbecue evokes a sense of place. It’s an art that has endured time. Every gathering around barbecue and cold Pepsi is a reminder that Carolinians are proud of where they’re from.
We’re thrilled to be part of the history and culture of the Carolinas. Like Pepsi, we love that barbecue is made by people, for people. We love that it’s meant to be shared, no matter your preference for the vinegar-based sauce of eastern-style barbecue, or for the vinegar and red sauce of western-style barbecue, or for the mustard-based sauce of South Carolina-style barbecue. Like Pepsi, barbecue has been present at the tables of Carolinians for generations.
So it’s no surprise that we pour Pepsi products at more than two dozen beloved barbecue establishments across the Carolinas.
B’s Barbecue in Greenville, NC is on that list. B’s got its start in 1978 and has become a little landmark for eastern-style barbecue.
“We like cooking barbecue to make people happy,” says co-owner Tammy Godley. “And as long as they keep coming, we’re going to try to make them happy.”
Over at Stamey’s, which has been open in Greensboro since 1930, “barbecue” could be another word for happiness.
Craver Stamey gets daily joy from the work he does here — and every part of the western-style cooking process.
“I love the wood flavor, I love the sound of the fire, I love serving that to people and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they eat our barbecue,” he says.
But what makes BBQ so darn good in the Carolinas?
“It’s just hard work,” says Chip Stamey, owner of Stamey’s.
Hard work is woven throughout the Carolina barbecue scene. Whether it’s a nonprofit bringing the community together for a cause, or a restaurant perfecting the cooking process, regardless of style. That hard work always produces the same result: Happiness.
It’s all part of the story of the Carolinas. We’re proud to be part of that story, too.