We had the good fortune of connecting with David and Dennis Robicheau and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David and Dennis, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My son and I cooked together for years before going into business. The thought process was just taking the love of what we were doing and turning into full time business. We chose to start a pop-up business because of the low risk and barrio to entry. We believed in our product and ability to serve food people would like. The local breweries were a perfect place for us to provide a BBQ pop-up. We figured if we consider each plate a critical and take good care of ours and the breweries customers we will be invited back. We also thought if people liked us at the brewery, we could develop some catering opportunities as well. The end game is to develop a following large enough to lower the risk of opening a brick-and-mortar location.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Shady Grove is in its 9th year. We have sourced the best products to start with and then worked hard to not mess them up. We consider each sale as the most important. We push to be consistent unless we are changing to evolve a product to something better. We have grown sales every year until last year. I think last year taught us much more about ourselves than all the previous years combined. The stress and uncertainty started creeping into our ability to be creative. We fought and I think won because we are still afloat and back to working towards our goal of selling ribs to the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A week in LB would include Mexican, Thai, Italian – Pizza German, Southe Western, BBQ, and beer Assuming all are open and still in business. Mexican – Lola’s, Canada Grill, and Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant Thai – Long Beach Thai, Manaow, and Thai District Italian – L’Opera for Pizza I would go to 4th Horseman. German – Rasselbock South Western/New Mexico – Panxa Cocina BBQ – any place Shady Grove is working Beer – Ten Mile Brewery, Ambitions Ale, Liberation Brewing, and in San Pedro Brouwerij West I did not get into cocktails but there are several legendary watering holes in LB
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The City of Long Beach is where we derive our inspiration along with some Louisiana Chefs. Long Beach is one of the most divers cities in the US. The influences on what and how we cook are derived form this wonderful city. My son and I have struggled to come up with a name that describes our style of BBQ and cuisine. So far, we are arguing over several names that best describe it. But Thank you to every place we have eaten in Long Beach, Paul Prudhomme, Papas Western BBQ, All of Santa Maria, all New Orleans, and PBS for Regional Chefs programing.
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