Once upon a time...is truly how this story should begin. By now, you might have heard of the Texas BBQ joint Snow's BBQ nestled in the quaint town of Lexington, Texas only open on Saturdays... and perhaps you've caught wind of the Cinderella like story of the famed Snow's BBQ Pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz.
Well, today, on the heels of celebrating their 15 year anniversary of "Smokin The Good Stuff," we want to introduce you to another key piece of the Snow's BBQ story, and her name is Mrs. Kim Bexley, otherwise known around the BBQ Joint as the "Boss's Boss." Kim is married to owner and operator Kerry Bexley, and this Barbecue Wife puts the "family" in the family business.
Keep reading to learn a little bit more about a story you might have thought you already knew everything about. Introducing the lovely Kim Bexley.
Tell me a little bit about where you are from and where you grew up? I was born and raised in the big city… Houston, Texas. I’m definitely a city girl – just ask my husband. I moved with my family when I was 18 to the “country” (as we called it) – Giddings, Texas.
What did your parents do? What influence did they have on you in becoming the woman you are today? My dad had his own drywall business in Houston, and he is one of the hardest working men I know. My mom was a stay at home mom, but on Thursdays she did the payroll, invoicing, etc. for my dad’s business. Her main job was taking care of our family, and what a great job she did! My parents always put us kids first…. always. My parents never missed any event that we may have had at school or anywhere for that matter. I have tried to follow in their footsteps regarding parenting. It’s hard because they were pretty close to perfect. My dad taught us that hard work pays off. Nothing in life is handed to you. Nothing is free. You have to work for it. My parents taught us that family is always first, you must work hard, and everything else will fall in place. We were raised in a good Christian home. They were the perfect example of good parenting.
What were you like as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up? I guess it depends on who you ask….maybe I should call my mom and ask her. LOL! I’m pretty sure she would say that I always had to have the last word, and that I was hard-headed and stubborn (I still am). I’m the middle child, so that may explain a lot (the poor middle child). I have a sister, 5 years older, and another sister, 4 years younger. My sisters and I never fought, and being the middle child, I always had to share a room with one of them. I may have complained about that a few times, but deep down inside, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how I wanted it. We didn’t have everything, but we had all that we needed. I don’t really think I wanted to be anything specific when I grew up…. I’m thinking I just wanted to be a mom and have lots of babies. In fact, I played with dolls until I was at least 10 years old. Not many girls did that, especially today.
Tell me about the business of barbecue. What do you think people might not know about the day in the life of Kim Bexley and your role in the family business? This question will definitely make Kerry laugh, and I’m so glad you didn’t ask him…..when we opened in 2003, (before all the recognitions and rankings), my role was to show up around 11 am and get a chicken half and some cole slaw and sit at an inside table and have lunch. This went on for years. I did not have to work on Saturdays because our two daughters did. They needed to learn about hard work, and who better to learn from than Kerry and Ms. Tootsie (these two just might work harder than my dad ever did). BUT, when we were ranked #1 by Texas Monthly in 2008, my life changed. I had to start working on Saturdays. It was a crazy, crazy time for Snow’s BBQ! I’m sure Kerry would agree. And let me add that I already had a full time job where I worked Monday thru Friday, so YEA I worked six days a week for many years, and I took care of our family, which was the hardest job of all. Through all these busy years, we had to hire several more people to work Saturdays. My girls went to college, moved away, etc. so my job was a little more important at Snow’s BBQ. Fast forward to 2016, and the girls are back, and Mia, my grandbaby is here, so now my Saturday job is babysitting her so that my daughter can work on Saturdays again. My Saturday role has changed through the years, but I have always been the “behind the scenes” person. I do all the accounting stuff, the office stuff, order merchandise, and work really hard to get Kerry to sleep (if anyone knows him, ya’ll know what I’m talking about)…. As Clay Cowgill, our latest and greatest pitmaster would say – I’m the boss’ boss, and I think that fits perfectly!
How did you meet your husband? Fun fact we might not know about the Bexley family? I’ve known who Kerry and his family were for years, but the night that we “met” we were at a local dancehall in Dime Box, Texas. After that first dance, I guess you could say it was “love at first site”. I don’t know about a fun fact, but this is definitely a funny fact….. before I was “in love” with Kerry, I liked his brother, Keith. We never dated or anything like that, but we sure shared a few dances when we were younger and in high school. I used to cut out every picture of him in the newspaper and keep in my room. We all get a good laugh about those days.
What is the best thing about being in the Barbecue business? Definitely meeting all the great people we’ve met over the years who have become our friends. We call them our BBQ family. Seriously, BBQ lovers have to be some of the nicest people in the world. Kerry would agree with me 100%.
What is the worst thing about being in the Barbecue business? I’m not complaining (I guess I am a little), but this business takes up a lot of Kerry’s time, which in turn, takes him away from home. Just because we are open only on Saturdays, people think that’s the only time Kerry works. Wrong. His phone rings 24/7 – he has to order meat, supplies, etc., responds to emails, cleans pits, etc. this list goes on and on, and we do online shipping every Tuesday so he has to make sure he has the meat to be shipped, processes orders and takes care of all that. Oh, and did I mention phone calls (lol) …… all the time!!! YES, he has help in doing all of this, but he still has to be the one to make sure it’s all taken care of. One more thing – he has a real full time job, has rental property, cattle and does real estate. His jobs never end, but he LOVES it, and if it makes him happy, then I’m happy too.
How do you juggle being a wife, mother, grandmother and entrepreneur? Any advice you can give as a working mom making it all happen every day? Juggling my life now is easy… ask me this question 10 or 15 years ago and you would have gotten a different answer. These days, I would have to pat myself on the back because I think I’ve juggled this life pretty good. I may not be the best at any of them, but I think I do pretty good at all of them. I’ve had a full time job my entire life, and working some at Snow’s while raising my family. It was a struggle and many times I just wanted to cry. I look back and wonder how I did it all those years ago, but I did. I just did it. My mom and dad, and other family members were a huge part of my support system. I could not have done it all without them. Hard work and time management is what it’s all about. I’m kinda weird about getting stuff done. I’m a laundry freak – if it’s dirty when you go to bed, you can bet it will be clean in the morning. That’s just how I am. If something needs to get done, I won’t go to bed until it is. That’s what it takes to make it all happen every day. Instead of complaining about all you have to do, thank God for all of your blessings that make your life so crazzzzzyyyy!
What do you do for fun? Our idea of fun has changed as Kerry and I have gotten older. We enjoy just sitting at home together and relaxing. After a full day of work and/or barbecue, a lazy day is just what we want and those days are happening way more often. Our lives have been so crazy for so long, that we enjoy our quiet time. Now don’t get me wrong, a night out with our friends dancing and having a few drinks is still definitely something we do for fun, just not as often.
If you were going to give one piece of advice to a young person who wanted to get into the business of barbecue or just "food" in general, what would that be? This is what Kerry has said forever and it has stuck with me too ….. TAKE PRIDE in your product! Give it that extra TLC, and even if the food isn’t that good, customer service and a friendly staff is what you have to have to be successful. That’s what they will remember. Kerry takes great pride in making sure his employees treat the customers with the utmost respect and friendly service that they deserve.
What's next for Kim Bexley? If you could do something outside of the barbecue business, what would that be? Next on my list would be cutting back my hours during the week. I, too, love to work, and enjoy my job, but maybe in the near future that could change. I’m ready to spend more days at the spa, more days with my family, and especially more time with Kerry. At the end of the summer, we will have an empty nest. This will be the first time in our marriage that it’s been just Kerry and me. I’ll keep you updated on how that’s going. LOL! Could be interesting to say the least! Also, I want a RV and to go camping…. in our spare time!!
When you actually get the chance...what do you do with girlfriends on a "Night Out" on the town? “nights out” with the girls didn’t happen very often because we all had little kids, and we were all so busy, but our lives have changed as the kids have gotten older. Just last year, a bunch of us girls went to Fredericksburg for a wine tour and we had so much fun. Last month, we went to Waco to the Magnolia Market and did some shopping. Our “girls days/nights out” are gonna start happening more often now!
Favorite Musician? Growing up with my dad, all we listened to was good old country music and I still love it today! Old country is probably my all-time favorite. My other favorites would be the Eagles – LOVE LOVE LOVE them, Rod Stewart, Journey, Bon Jovi, and 80’s music of course!!
If you were to empty out your purse on the table right now, what would we find? My wallet, which is perfectly organized (seriously), checkbook, which I never use, reading glasses, several lip glosses, chapstick, and powder compact – that’s about it.
We end each interview with a piece we can share from your kitchen to the reader’s home kitchen. Think of it as sharing a recipe card from one good friend to another. What is a favorite recipe you like to share from your home kitchen when you are entertaining with friends and family?
Better than SEX
(aka Chocolate Layered Dessert)
· 1 cup all purpose flour
· 1 cup pecans , chopped finely
· 1 stick butter , cubed
· 8 oz cream cheese , softened
· 1/2 cup powdered sugar
· 1 cup whipped cream or cool whip
· 1 (3.4 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
· 1 (3.4 ounce) box chocolate instant pudding
· 3 cups cold milk
· 1 cup whipped cream or cool whip
· 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles
· Combine until butter is cut into pea-size pieces. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 mins. at 350. Cool slightly.
· Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until mixed well, then mix in the 8 ounces of whipped topping until smooth and creamy. Spread on the cooled crust.
· Using whisk. mix together one package of vanilla instant pudding and one package of chocolate instant pudding with 3 cups cold milk, about 2 minutes. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up and then spread on top of cream cheese layer.
· Top pudding layer with the remaining 8 ounces of whipped topping and garnish with chocolate sprinkles.
· Store in the refrigerator.
A very big thank you to Kim for sharing a little bit more about her journey as a Barbecue Wife. If you haven't made the road trip to Snow's BBQ in Lexington, no time is better than the present. They are throwing a big celebration this Saturday, March 3, 2018 as they celebrate their 15 year anniversary. Grab some people you love and hop in the car to make the trek. Word to the wise, early bird gets the smoked meats, so you might want to listen to those roosters crowing to make it in time.
Till next time!
Catherine Stiles @BarbecueWife