As the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
That's exactly what the owners of Momma's Smokehouse BBQ are doing after closing the doors Nov. 29.
Momma's owners Rob and Sherry Greenaway held a grand opening on Oct. 17, with a mission to share their love and passion for country-style barbecue with the citizens of Chula Vista.
They soon decided to close their doors after coming to the conclusion there was more to opening a small business than they realized.
However, the Greenaways see it as a learning experience for the near future, which includes another Momma’s Smokehouse somewhere in Chula Vista.
“Chula Vista’s been good for us,” Sherry said.
Rob said he’d like to see it along Third Avenue sometime in the next six to eight months.
“Ten years from now with the bayfront (development) this place is gonna be booming,” he said.
They agreed next time around they would do more research, marketing and advertising beforehand, reach out to the Chamber of Commerce and find a more public location for their business.
Momma’s Smokehouse was located in the Center Cut building on Broadway.
The menu included traditional items such as baby back ribs, barbecue chicken and pulled pork. They also served sides and chicken wings.
The most popular entree was brisket; however, macaroni and cheese and peach cobbler were also favorites, both made from scratch.
Even popcorn had a touch of Momma’s love with a Cajun rub Sherry made.
While it was open, the Greenaways said Momma’s Smokehouse BBQ was popular among police officers, members of community grassroots organization Crossroads II and senior citizens.
The Greenaways’ vision for Momma’s Smokehouse BBQ is to provide a family-eating environment.
“We wanted to give the community a place to relax and eat some good meals,” Rob said.
“We wanted a place for families,” Sherry added.
It was when the couple met in 2002 and married in 2003 that they discovered a shared passion for barbecue.
“It’s an all-American thing,” Rob said simply.
Rob, 56, grew up barbecuing and tailgating.
My family is all from the South,” Sherry said. “Where I grew up, people grilled everything.”
Momma’s sauce was born after Sherry and Rob decided to combine their homemade recipes, which they’ve sold since 2010 at San Diego farmers markets.
Rob says Momma’s sauce is different than others because of one special ingredient.
“We put bacon in our sauce,” Rob said smiling. “I cooked with bacon a lot before I met Sherry and (together) we made a real good flavor. Who doesn’t like bacon?”
The Greenaways say the sauce is unique in that even a novice palette can detect the sweet kiss of ingredients on their taste buds.
Although the restaurant is closed for now, their catering business is still up and running for folks who enjoy the tasty comfort food.
The Greenaways said they have no regrets.“I’m 110 percent positive that had our marketing been better we could have been successful,” Sherry said. “I know we can do this.”
The couple continues to sell their bottled sauce at farmers markets in Chula Vista, Ramona and in the Gaslamp District.
The sassy sauce has even landed on the shelves of some retail stores including Sprout’s in Chula Vista, Iowa Meat Farms and Siesel’s Meats, both in San Diego.
As they work out details and finances, the pair will continue selling their signature sauce online and provide catering while working their other jobs.
Rob works as a lead custodian for the city of Chula Vista and Sherry works part time in the emergency room for Scripps Mercy Hospital.
Sherry, 57, has four children, Tommy, 22, Caitlin, 24, Derrick, 27 and Jason, 38.
Visit www.shop.mommassauce.com for more information.