In Lewiston the new Smokehouse Market is up and running. The market is located where the Plug ‘n Jug Market was for so many years on Trinity Dam Boulevard.
The idea to open the Smokehouse started last December with six friends— John and Deborah Lane, Jarrett and Tania Gravley and Clint and Megan Isbell. (As seen in the above photo in that order.)
About four years ago, John built a big barbecue smoker and Jarrett suggested they enter a barbecue competition, which happened to be in Sacramento. All three couples headed to Sacramento to compete. According to John, “We got smoked!” and Megan commented that it was a real learning experience. But, they enthusiastically formed J&J’s Smokin’ BBQ and kept entering local competitions as well as doing a little catering on the side. As both their technique and food got better and better, the business sort of exploded and they found that the catering part was really taking off.
Since they were already renting a commercial kitchen next door to the vacant Plug ‘n Jug for catering, and monthly sales showed a demand for product, Clint pitched the idea of opening a market where they could sell their barbecue, sandwiches, enchiladas, salads, and take-and-bake pizza along with staple grocery items, and offered to run it. The six friends agreed and worked hard to make the new Smokehouse Market happen. While the store is run primarily by Clint and Megan, everyone else pitches in when needed. John says that they are more than friends; “we are family.”
The Smokehouse Market is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. In addition to the J&J’s Barbecue food, they have the basics of grocery items, baking goods, chips, ice cream, water, sodas, beer and wine. They are constantly working on improving the various offerings, such as a small fishing section (including helping people get fishing licenses), camping and BBQ supplies, and some light hardware items.
Their goal is to fill a niche between the other two small markets in Lewiston – the Hometown Market and the Lewiston Mini Mart. Tania stated that they want to diversify their items so that all the stores benefit. That’s a great plan for a small town with six friends with big hearts. The store can be reached at 945-4965.