Bill Gouse, owner of Billy G’s Carolina BBQ, loads a plate with pulled pork and a variety of sauces and rubs. Photos by Grace Tippett
A Columbia specialty shop is inviting other local businesses into its space, pop-up style, most recently offering a barbecue tasting.
Kudzu Bakery and Market, located in Forest Acres, houses a unique collection of foods, drinks and kitchen and home items. It hopes its “Welcome Wednesdays” give customers a chance to sample some of the merchandise. This week’s featured business, for example, it hosted local catering company, Billy G’s Carolina BBQ.
Billy G’s specializes in catering casual events such as oyster roasts, backyard barbecues, birthday parties and more.
Kudzu Bakery & Market carries a selection of Gouse’s specialty sauces and rubs. Bill Gouse, the company’s owner, has been in the catering business since 2004, but began focusing on barbecue around 2006. On Wednesday, Gouse was at the store offering samples to customers.
Columbia native Lee Richardson has been friends with Gouse for many years and made sure to stop by and grab a sample.
“We go and get some of that barbecue and just take it home,” Richardson said. “I’ve got five kids, and they love barbecue, so we do that.”
Billy G’s Carolina BBQ food truck can frequently be found around Columbia, including at Soda City Market some Saturdays.
“I’m kinda bragging on him and don’t want to make anybody else mad – but he had the biggest line,” Richardson said of a Soda City visit. “He had the biggest line at his food truck compared to everybody.”
Gouse said the tasting at Kudzu was beneficial for business.
“We sold out of all of their inventory of my products and those customers probably bought other products too,” Gouse said.
Christina Altman, Kudzu’s social media coordinator, is responsible for coordinating giveaways and events.
The gourmet bakery and market also recently hosted the brand Tipsy, which sells canned, wine-based spritzers.
Next, Kudzu Bakery and Market will host Southern Olive Bites, an appetizer brand out of Charleston.