Smoakies Celebrates 20 years in business

Published 8:48 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

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Smoakies Celebrates their 20th Anniversary on June 10th.

Here is a little Smoakies history, told from the perspective of Stephanie, Steve (the owners) daughter. You may see her pop in the restaurant from time to time, or you may even see her help cover shifts.

Back in roughly Jan of 2003, Steve left his job at a chemical plant of over 20 years. He gave his resignation and said he was going to work for himself. No one at this point (including) him knew what he was actually going to do. When asked what his ideas were, a few of the answers included be a door greeter at Walmart, open a bait and tackle store and other off the wall answers. Deep down, he knew he wanted a restaurant. Steve’s first job when he was 13 years old was at The Peachstate Cafeteria. Mattie Rosser was his mentor and she certainly stamped his life and held a special place in his heart.

Once we knew he would open a restaurant, he was faced with the decision of what kind of restaurant. Cordele did not have a “sit down” BBQ restaurant at the time, so this gave him plenty of ideas. On a side note, many years prior to even the idea of Smoakies, he and his 80 something year old grand daddy (Pa) were always our “holiday cooks”. They would have so much fun together and share so many laughs, they sometimes forgot to “watch the meat or the temp”. Thank goodness Steve’s mom (Frances/Nana) was always prepared. She always had “back up BBQ” from Dooly County Legend, Mr JB Bryant,

Steve then found a building we would call home for the next 11 years. This small building (formally known as Jim’s Cash and Carry) was located in the fork of Cemetary Road and Hwy 257. I remember vividly going to see the building with him that day. I remember calling nana that night to ask her what dad was thinking and how or what were we going to do or cook. Nana had faith from day one. Her reply was we are gonna paint the building and decorate it. She added they she and I would help cook and share recipes. If Dad and Nana thought it could happen, I was on board too!

Fast forward 20 years and over 1 million pounds of bbq later… through many trials and tribulations, Smoakies has certainly been blessed as we strive to be a blessing to others. We have met some of the most awesome people that we now call friends. It is amazing to look at our maps on our walls and see that we have served multiple families from each US State and SEVERAL countries!

Thank you to the Good Lord above to see us through this endeavor, provide physical health and mental strength, and for a staff that has our back. Running a restaurant is certainly not for the faint of heart!

We appreciate our customers! We couldn’t have done this with out you. We look forward to serving you the next 20 years!

Smoakies will be closed the following week for a well deserved, long overdue vacation. They will reopen normal house on Tuesday June 20.