Inspiring Stories: Fireside BBQ
This is the first post in our inspiring stories series where we feature small businesses whose stories we love to read.
Glenn Norfleet is the owner of Fireside BBQ which is located in Sulphur Springs, TX. BBQ is not just a business for Glenn it's a lifestyle he grew up with. His Grandpa gave him his first grill when Glenn was just 9 years old! During his teenage years and into adulthood Glenn was pulled away from that lifestyle into one that involved drug use. But 15 years ago BBQ entered back into Glenn's life with the help of a friend named Donald. From that friendship Glenn began to piece his life together and started Fireside BBQ in 2016.
Donald encouraged Glenn to turn his life around and helped him plan his business. Glenn credits Donald with getting him sober and focused on what matters. Four years ago Donald passed away from cancer. Glenn still has influential people in his life today who help him run his business. Glenn's girlfriend Debra works a full time job, but makes time to help with Fireside BBQ when she can. Glenn says her support has been instrumental in running his business.
Fireside BBQ looked a lot different in the beginning than it does today. Glenn initially ran everything out of a trailer that he would park on the side of the road. Over the last 15 years a physical location was established for Fireside BBQ. Today Glenn operates a BBQ stand and a catering service. Staying true to Fireside's start he also keeps a concessions trailer, although it's changed quite a bit over the years.
What BBQ has given to Glenn he has passed forward into his community. From the start Glenn has adopted needy families for Thanksgiving and Christmas anonymously through his church. He also runs a food drive every year, changing the programs he works with. Last year he worked with a local meal-a-day program that serves senior citizens. This year he is working with Operation V.ictor E.cho T.ango which serves veterans. And Glenn doesn't stop there, he continues to give back when he sees people in need. He's donated auction items, gift cards, and sponsored classes for students.
We asked Glenn what he wished he had known when starting his business and what advice he had for other entrepreneurs. "I wish I had known more about business... I just jumped in feet first..." He does have two things in particular he thinks would help and encourage someone starting their own business. The first being that time is the most valuable asset you have starting out. If you need something and are able to work for it take the opportunity and spend the time to get the tools you need to build your business. You're going to hear no a lot when you own a business. That doesn't mean you have to take no for an answer. Don't be discouraged. If you need something and run into road blocks get creative and find a work around.
Want more information on Fireside BBQ and Glenn? Take a look at his website and social links below!