The newly opened Trinity Smokehouse BBQ is a dream come true through lots of perseverance, help from friends and a reliance on God.
Dreams can become realities with perseverance, help from friends and family and a reliance on God.
That was the way Scott and Shaila Kemp started up Trinity Smokehouse BBQ, Pratt's newest place to get a good meal.
Kemp said they chose the name Trinity because they wanted to glorify God. They wanted a place where people could feel comfortable and at ease.
"God is the focus of our life," Shaila said. "We couldn't do this without the support of the (Reach) church."
Their faith is presented on their menu and business cards.
John 6:51. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread they will live forever. The bread I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
The Reach Church, with Rev. Bryan Beittel and his wife Jennifer and others in the congregation,have been very helpful getting the business up and running. The business had a soft opening on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 was their first official day of business. The response has been very good.
"People love the food and the atmosphere," Shaila said. "It's all been very positive."
The only thing the customers complain about is they want them to expand their hours. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and customers want them to be open later in the evening. But they are already spending about 12 hours a day at the restaurant and have no plans to expand hours although they do offer catering after hours. They are also considering adding carryout.
"We're up at 5 a.m. or 5:30 a.m and have the smokers going by 6:30 a.m.," Kemp said. "It takes from four to up to 12 hours (for brisket) to smoke the meat depending on what it is."
Besides the meat, they also smoke the beans for sides.
When they close the doors at 2 p.m. they still have a couple of hours of work and usually leave around 4 p.m. after a long, busy day of preparation, serving customers and then cleaning up.
Kemp is the cook at Trinity. His skill in the kitchen had prompted people at his work to ask him to cook for them. He cooked for weddings, Christmas feasts and other big feed events and he liked doing it.
"It became kind of a passion," Kemp said.
He uses mesquite wood that he chops himself at his father Larry Kemp's home in Texas where there are lots of mesquite trees in his back yard. Mesquite is a very hard wood that has to be cut green. It takes a lot of work to cut it and bring it back to Pratt.
Kemp had been praying for a job. He had approached the owners of Two Butts BBQ to see if they needed help and that eventually lead to getting the building.
The opportunity had presented itself to open his own business so he and Shaila talked about it for a long time and spent a lot of time in prayer. Friends knew his cooking skills and were enthusiastic about him starting a restaurant and encouraged him to "Do it, do it, do it," Kemp said.
Kemp had never cooked in a restaurant setting but after much consideration they decided it was the thing to do and jumped in with both feet, Kemp said.
The Two Butts location became available and they had some money put aside so they were able to buy the property and the equipment as well. Friends also helped out with lots of donations.
It took a lot of sweat equity to make Trinity a reality. Then did an extensive remodel, including getting rid of the yellow walls, to make Trinity truly their own.
"It needed to have our touch," Shaila said.
Since this was a new venture for the Kemps, they had to come up with a menu. They started out with food they liked and then experimented to find out what their tastes were and what customers would like.
One thing they insisted on was making the food themselves. Besides cooking all the meat himself, Kemp makes his own barbecue sauce and they prepare their own sides as well. The final menu isn't big but the food is very good. They are considering adding salads to the menu.
Kemp and Shaila own and manage the business. Kemp’s mom volunteers in the kitchen. They have two employees and five volunteers and they are all invaluable. Everyone gathers for prayer to start the day then they get to work.
Kemp has a special respect for military personnel. He was an EMT and a police officer. To honor all police, sheriff, ambulance, fire and military personnel, they will receive a 10 percent discount if they are in uniform when they come in to eat.
Located at 1219 East First in Pratt, Trinity Smokehouse BBQ is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information or catering, call 602-508-6141.