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Southern BBQ minus the airfare

June 17, 2011

SHANNOCK – Looking to enjoy some good, down-country BBQ but don't feel like crossing the Mason Dixon to do so? Well, you're in luck, because Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ has got you covered and all it takes is a trip to Shannock Village.

Hilbert and Tracie Gibbs and their 11-year-old daughter Caitlin, aka “Kit Kat,” decided to set up the BBQ cart after coming to the conclusion as a family, Hilbert said. He owned several BBQ joints while living in Tampa, Fla., but he considered himself retired from the restaurant game when he moved to Shannock in early 2010.

“I just looked to do it again,” Gibbs said. Plus, his wife had never had smoked BBQ, he said with a laugh.

With that, they decided to name the business after their daughter and call it Kit Kat's Smoked BBQ, where you can grab a BBQ pull pork sandwich for $5 or a beef brisket sandwich for $6.25. You can also throw down a few extra bills and snag a plate of BBQ pull pork, chicken, ribs, or beef brisket with two extras, which included cole slaw and potato salad, a piece of corn bread, and a drink.

Kit Kat's also offers catering and family specials, such a pound of BBQ pork, two large extras, four pieces of corn bread, and four drinks for $22. For more menu items, pricing, hours, and contact information, head to their website at http://kitkatsbbq.webs.com or call 364-3110.

The cart is located in front of the Gibbs' home at 200 Shannock Village Road in Shannock.

Kit Kat's could officially open for business after the Gibbs received approval for a peddler's license from the Town Council at the May 17 meeting.

After some deliberation, the council voted 4-1 to approve the license. The sole opposition came from council Vice President Henry Oppenheimer, who remained staunchly opposed to peddler's license application for many years.

He explained that his opposition stems his belief that peddler-style food services create an unfair competition for restaurants that have to pay taxes and other fees to do business in town. He added that the then-only other approved peddler's license belonged to the Del's Lemonade located in Wyoming Village.

Council President B. Joseph Reddish III recognized his fellow councilor's concern, he couldn't agree. What the Gibbs are selling, he said, does not compete with any restaurant in town because Richmond does not have a BBQ-centric restaurant.

He then added that they should look into taking over the former Tim Horton's location on Main Street. "I think this is a great opportunity to get him started," Reddish said.

Another reason for Reddish's approval of the license was the fact that several of the Gibbs' neighbors in Shannock turned out for the meeting to support the couple.

Even some of those who do not live in close proximity to the Gibbs said to one another that they are looking forward to sampling their food. Like Reddish, the residents also noted that there isn't any restaurant like this in town.

The Gibbs also presented a list of signatures from about 40 residents who are in favor of their opening the BBQ spot. Many of those neighbors, and family, too, were able to sample the smoky eats on Easter, when “we did a big feast for the neighborhood,” Hilbert Gibbs said.

Before receiving the license, which brought a rousing round of applause from those in attendance, Gibbs explained that he indeed looked to set up shop in several spots in Richmond but was turned down by the town.

He hasn't let that slow him down, though. He has proposed yet another location to open up shop in town. And his priority, he said, is to stay in the village that has treated him so well.

“We're trying to stay in the town of Richmond," Gibbs said. “But staying in Shannock is the goal.”

Building on that thought was his wife, Tracie. “It's so nice to have the whole community come over,” she said. “It's really brought the community together and we wouldn't be here without their support.”

Kit Kat concurred while adding that she is very proud of her family for doing starting up the business because, like her mother said, it's created a very community-friendly atmosphere in the village.

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