Saucy Pig aims to smoke the competition

Gary Maybery of the new Saucy Pig BBQ on Mitton Street South says Sarnians like their ribs tender and moist. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Gary Maybery says his competitors better look out because another wood smoker is in town now and the ribs are fall-off-the-bone delicious.

The veteran cook, who worked 15 years in steakhouses and other food operations, admits he was surprised when a new barbecue smokehouse opened in Sarnia just days before his Saucy Pig BBQ opened on Mitton Street South.

“I’d been working on my place for months. I didn’t know about anybody else,” he said. “I was just thinking about how popular Bibb’s Ribs used to be down here on Mitton years ago, and I thought this would work.”

Maybery moved to Sarnia from London in 1980 to work at The Keg and later JB’s Harbourhouse on the waterfront. He eventually left the restaurant industry to work at various jobs including a lunch truck that served the local plants for years.

Since 1990, he’s owned and operated Accel, a commercial delivery service that caters to the Chemical Valley.

“But I missed being in the restaurant business and thought I’d give it a try,” he said.

Saucy Pig BBQ opened in early January, specializing in smoked beef brisket sandwiches, shredded smoked pork sandwiches and hickory smoked pork ribs.

Maybery installed a wood-burning smoker that slowly cooks his meat until it falls off the bone.

He’s developed his own barbecue sauce recipe using the meat drippings and his own original spice combo, and he’s borrowed a few ideas from his Keg days, like garlic butter and teriyaki sauce.

“People in Sarnia know their meat,” he said. “This is a meat and potatoes town.”

Maybery has also partnered with Maya’s Village Bakery just up the street, which provides fresh baked buns, cookies, tarts and cornbread muffins to Saucy Pig.

January was a quiet month to open, Maybery said. “But it gave me a chance to train my staff and get things running smoothly.

“Now there are nights, mostly Saturdays, when I can’t believe how busy we are. The word is starting to spread.”

Saucy Pig is primarily a take-out restaurant but has tables and chairs to seat 20. Maybery said apart from take-out, he hopes to focus on catering to the plants and providing lunch specials to the Blue Bombers nearby at SCITS.

At lunchtime, three smoked beef brisket slammers (dinner bun size) and a pop sell for $5 (including taxes) to appeal to the student population.

A full rack of ribs sells for $19.99 while a half rack is $11.99.  Sides are extra and include smoky beans, coleslaw, cornbread muffins, smoked bacon, and cheesy spuds.

Saucy Pig, at 169 Mitton South, is open Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and for dinner from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.; open all day Saturday until 8 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Phone 519-491-6860.

 

SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN THE WORKPLACE

Drug and alcohol testing, employee discipline, withdrawal management, and recognizing impairment are the focus of an upcoming morning seminar hosted by the Workplace Wellness committee.

Registration for “Substance Abuse and the Workplace” begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 at the Lambton College Event Centre.

Speakers are on tap from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Pre-register at https://slworkplacewellness.eventbrite.ca. Cost is $25 with breakfast.

Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca or call 226-932-0985.