barbecue wife

Stacy Franklin - Franklin Barbecue

Stacy Franklin - photo by: Lauren Slusher

Stacy Franklin - photo by: Lauren Slusher

Interview by: Catherine Stiles

Portraits by: Wyatt McSpadden & Lauren Slusher

You know the story well, or so you think you do. Meet Stacy Franklin. You might recognize her as half of the equation to the dynamic duo that is Franklin Barbecue, but did you know that she’s also a mom, a "Mrs. Fix-it," and an aspiring gardener?  ...and she has a story all of her own to tell.

Tell me a little bit about where you are from and where you grew up? I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and I lived there until I was 19, when I moved to Austin. 

What did your parents do? What influence did they have on you in becoming the woman you are today?  My parents are hard working people. My Mom worked for the VA hospital in Human Resources for most of her career. My Dad had lots of different careers until he landed in teaching toward the end of my childhood. My Dad always did odd jobs to make extra money. It snowed yearly in Amarillo, and when we had a snow day, we usually borrowed our grandfather’s snow blower and we went out to make money clearing driveways. Sometimes he cleaned the windows at Weinersnitzel. If he found someone taking down an old fence, he would make outdoor furniture with the old pickets and try to sell it. That entrepreneurial spirit and hard work is probably the most important thing I learned from my parents. 

What were you like as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up? I was the kid that was always being told that they had "an adult sense of humor" or that I was "an old soul". I actually have no idea what that means, but I think that a lot of times I loved sitting around and listening to adults converse. Adults would also tell me that I should be a comedian when I grew up. I was a goober. 

How did you land in Austin, Texas? After high school, I stuck around Amarillo and tried my hand at community college. It wasn't the thing for me and I dropped out. I would take road trips to Austin to visit my friend Claudia who was attending the University of Texas. We were talking on the phone one day and she said that one of her roommates was moving out and that she needed to find someone. I moved to Austin two weeks later. 

Stacy Franklin & daughter Vivian at Franklin Barbecue. Photo by Wyatt McSpadden

Stacy Franklin & daughter Vivian at Franklin Barbecue. Photo by Wyatt McSpadden

Tell me about the business of barbecue. Obviously everyone knows the story of you and Franklin Barbecue, but what do you think people might not know about the day in the life of Stacy Franklin and your role in the family business? Oh gosh. So much stuff behind the scenes. Nothing too exciting, but we try and keep up with employee needs, email requests, accounts payable, accounts receivable, merchandise, insurance, new projects, compliance, permits, preorders, press requests, website needs, communication, coordinating repairs, blah blah blah. It is a lot of work.

What is the best thing about being in the Barbecue business? Yesterday, we had a group of 6 business men who waited in line. At the end of their meal, they wanted to see if they got in line tomorrow at 2pm, if the line would be short. There are not a lot of restaurants that have people planning their meal for the following day, before they even leave the premises. That is pretty cool to me.

What is the worst thing about being in the Barbecue business?  Hmm. Its pretty hard to complain....but I manage. Haha. I think the thing that annoys me, is when I go to the bank and they ask me why I didn't bring them any food. People kind of expect you to bring food or carry bbq around in your purse.

You are a mom, which is also a full time job. How do you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur? (I know it is a job in itself just managing the demanding schedules of both.) Any advice you can give as a working mom making it all happen everyday? The hardest thing for me is turning off the computer at 5, and not thinking about what I did not have time to finish. I want to be present with my daughter once we get home, so I try my best not to do emails or work after I am home in the evening. These days some folks expect that everyone replies to emails in the evenings or on the weekends, so it is hard for people to just wait to get a response for a few days. Setting boundaries in order to have good work / life balance is important. It is always challenging to make time for yourself for rest or exercise, but it is so important.

What do you do for fun? Gardening is my current jam. I grow cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs and native plants, and I love a good project. I think it is very important for a lady to have her own tools. I have my own drill, hacksaw, speed square, measuring tape, shovels, ladder, drill bits and more. If I want to start a project, I want to be able to do it all myself, with very little help from my husband. I know he is busy and it gives me great satisfaction to not have to ask for help.

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? Just figure it out. I figured out how to run a business by doing almost everything myself. It is hard to delegate a task to someone else, if you don't know how to do it yourself. Figure it out and make mistakes. Taking things one step at a time makes a large daunting task seem more manageable. You heard how to eat an elephant, right?

What's next for Stacy Franklin? If you could do something outside of the barbecue business, what would that be? I have lots of different things I would like to do someday. Real estate, nail salon, vintage outdoor furniture store, cute non slip shoe manufacturer, organic confetti company, boozy snow cone stand, make organic chinchilla wash. Some of these are more serious than others, but these ideas give me a big smile. 

When you actually get the chance...what do you do with girlfriends on a "Night Out" on the town? We almost always meet at a favorite restaurant or try out something new. One of my girlfriends is a pescitarian, so it is fun to eat out with her and try all the fish and veggie options on the menu. And wine...lots of wine.

When you have guests in town are there any local restaurants, shops, or favorite attractions you like to direct them to? I normally leave that to my husband, he loves to make restaurant lists for people. 

Favorite Musician? I mostly stick to older music. If you asked me to put on some music right now, I would probably put on an Al Green / Tupac / Donna Summer / Chicago radio station.

If you were to empty out your purse on the table right now, what would we find? Lots of receipts, sunglasses, eyeglasses, lip gloss in various shades, smooshed breakfast bars, loose spare change, 1 pen.

Is there a local or national charitable cause that you support and would like more people to be aware of? We really like The SAFE Alliance. A merger of Austin Children's Shelter and SAFE Place.

We end each interview with a piece we can share from your kitchen to the readers 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?

“STACY’S FAMOUS” Green Goddess Dip

This is a recipe I make when we have friends over and we want to have something to snack on while Aaron grills dinner. I found this in Saveur magazine a few years back, and it goes great with any sliced veggies. I sub out different herbs, depending on what I have in my garden or what I can find in the grocery store. Substituting dill for the tarragon is my favorite thing to do, or using greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. 


2 tbsp. parsley

2 tbsp. dill

2 tbsp. scallions

2 tbsp. chives

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. sour cream

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice veggies for dipping


Combine herbs in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar to the herb mixture and blend until smooth ; season with salt and pepper.



Thank you Stacy for sharing a little bit of the amazing that makes you "you."

I crossed paths with Stacy about 6 years ago in this crazy little barbecue universe, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy our visits on our "ladies who lunch" dates. It’s nice to get to know people for who they are & not for what they do during their "9 to 5.". She’s one awesome lady, and I hope you feel a little more connected after reading this Tale of a Barbecue Wife.

Till Next Time!




Mallory Robbins - Evie Mae's Barbecue

Interview By: Catherine Stiles

Portraits by: Wyatt McSpadden

In this first edition of "Tales of a Barbecue Wife," we caught up with Mallory Robbins co-owner of Evie Mae’s Barbecue in Wolfforth, Texas. Mallory & her husband Arnis Robbins are juggling it all and making it look easy. We thought we’d get up close and personal with this Barbecue Wife as she walks us through a “day in the life” as she splits her time between being a mom of two and a small business owner.

Keep reading, as Mallory gives us a special treat at the end of the interview you can take with you. You'll soon see why we love catching up with Mallory every chance we get.

Name: Mallory Robbins      Age:  34

Tell me a little bit about where you are from, where you grew up: I was born in Amarillo, TX, but moved to Clovis, NM when I was young.  Clovis is a small town only a couple of miles from the Texas border.  It's an agricultural, railroad and Air Force base town.  I grew up "in the country" and have the best memories of playing outside and being on my grandparent's farm. 

Your family, what did your parents do? What influence did they have on you becoming the woman you are today? My mom was a school teacher and my dad has been in the beef packing business for 30-plus years. My parents were divorced when I was young.  My mom always had "side jobs" besides her school teaching career.  She cleaned houses, decorated cakes, you name it.  I learned from her that if you work hard and take care of people, you'll always have what you need.  She worked really hard to take care of me and my siblings and I think that has had a huge impact on my work ethic. 

What were you like as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up? I was a major tomboy.  I loved being outside, at the lake, fishing, etc.  I don't remember really wanting to be anything specifically, just that I wanted to be outside.

How did you land in Wolfforth, Texas? How did you meet your husband? Arnis and I met when we were kids.  We grew up in neighboring towns and had mutual friends.  We reconnected after college and both moved out to Arizona.  We ended up getting married, started a landscaping company, had our first baby, and realized pretty quick that we needed to be back "home" and closer to family.  We sold our business and got back to Texas as fast as we could.  Wolfforth is just outside of Lubbock.  Most of our family is within a two hour drive.  The people here are so welcoming and nice. 

Mallory & Arnis Robbins - Evie Mae's Barbecue

Mallory & Arnis Robbins - Evie Mae's Barbecue

How did you get into the barbecue business? What do you think people might not know about the "day in the life" of Mallory and your role in the business? My husband, Arnis, started experimenting with barbecue when we lived in Arizona.  We owned a landscaping company and it was very stressful for him.  He grew up on a farm and he was always tinkering with stuff and wanted to build his own pit.  I think teaching himself to barbecue was a therapeutic hobby at first.  I thought he was crazy.  Barbecue isn't a big thing out in AZ.  We started cooking for neighbors and friends.  Then, he bought a little food trailer and we decided we would try selling bbq on Fridays and see how it went.  We just set up in front of an old golf course on the side of the road.  Things got busy pretty fast and we really wanted to move closer to family.  We decided to sell our business, get a nicer food trailer, and relocate to Lubbock and try this bbq thing full-time.  For the first year, It was just me and him.  He cooked the meat and I did all the sides and desserts.  It was stressful, but fun.  Over the past 2 years, we've added another baby and moved from the food trailer to a brick and mortar. 

People may not know that I manage our social media.  I really enjoy taking pictures of food and working at the restaurant as much as I can.  I love it there.  It's hard to step back and let other people take care of things so I can be with our kids.  We have awesome employees and I'm so thankful to have such amazing help.   

What is the best thing about being in the barbecue business? What do you enjoy the most?  The best thing about being in the barbecue business is the people.  Not just the customers, they're great too, but the actual people involved in Barbecue all over Texas.  I feel like we are part of this awesome group of people who support and root for each other.  And not just the joint owners, but the bloggers, photographers, and foodies.  It's really cool.  I feel like I could reach out to just about anyone in the business for advice. 

I don't do any of the cooking anymore, so I really enjoy hanging out during service and chatting with customers.  I also love helping serve food and even cleaning tables during a busy lunch.   

Obviously not every day is an adventure in this business. Any funny stories you would like to share? A funny story I could share is from a day I was at the grocery store.  A guy put his fist up in the air and yelled way down the isle "Hey!  I love your food!!".  It was so funny.  It's funny to be recognized places and have people go out of their way to say hi.  I don't think I'll ever get used to that!

What is the worst thing about being in the barbecue business?  The worst thing about the barbecue business is definitely the hours.  It was really hard in the beginning (and still is sometimes) having a "pit master" husband.  There are times when he won't see the kids for a few days at a time.  That doesn't happen as much anymore, thanks to having great employees. 

Any stories you would like to share about a bad day you just had to laugh about? (I always say, you have to have a good sense of humor to be in this business and laugh, or it can be a challenging thing to be in day in and day out) I have quite a few stories about "bad" days that I could share!  Haha.  It's tough when we get a bad review online.  We take it pretty personally because this business is so special to us and we work so hard.  I'm getting better about just laughing off the negative comments and knowing that you can't please everyone, even though we try!  All we can do is serve the best food we can and take good care of people and hope that they spread the word and come back to see us. 

You are a mom, which is also a full time job. How do you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur in the family business? Any advice you would like to give to working moms in general and making it all happen everyday? Having a support system is huge.  If it wasn't for my mom and my mother-in-law's help over the past 2 1/2 years, we definitely wouldn't be where we are today.  I've been fortunate enough to be able to take a step back over the past year after our son was born to "stay at home" thanks to some awesome employees.   

I think it's really important to be realistic about what you can get done in a day.  There are days that I feel like Super Mom and everything is awesome.  Dinner is made, house is clean, kids are happy.  But, then there are days that I'm lucky if I even take a shower, I feel like I can't get anything done, and my 4 year old hates me.  But, I try really hard to be realistic and not too hard on myself.  

I think it's important to say "No" sometimes.  A fellow Barbecue Wife gave me that advice.  Give yourself some grace.  Try not to compare yourself to other moms that seem like they always have it together.  They don't. Don't believe everything you see.  Take some time for yourself.  I'm particularly bad about this, but I am trying to make myself more of a priority.  Your mental health as a mom (working outside of the home or not) is so important. 

What do you do for fun? Favorite Vacation spots you would like to share? Having my husband home from work, hanging out on the back porch and watching the kids play and not having to be anywhere or do anything is the most fun lately.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love a good date night with him with no kids and no rush.  Maybe someday soon!  We also love going to antique stores.  Just looking around for treasures is always fun.

Arnis and I went to Hawaii on our Honeymoon and I can't wait to go back.  A beach with no plans is my idea of a perfect vacation. 

When you are not eating at Evie Mae’s where would you send someone visiting your town? Definitely some of the local wineries, The West Table for a nice dinner, or The Blue Light for live music. 

 When you actually get the chance…what do you do with girlfriends on a “Night Out” on the town? I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't had a "girls night" in quite a while.  I love live music and a good, cold beer.  Anything just hanging out and talking about life is great with me.  A patio is a plus

Favorite Musician? This is a hard question to answer because I have so many "favorites" in different genres of music.  I may listen to The Statler Brothers one day, and Tupac the next.  My mom is a huge lover of music so I was exposed to everything growing up.  I love Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince.   Pat Green is also one of my favorites.  He was just starting out when I was in high school and his music and song writing started my serious love of Texas country music.  I have seen him in concert probably 10 times.  There isn't a single song of his that doesn't spark some sort of memory from High school or college.

If you were to empty out your purse on the table right now, what would we find? Oh, yikes.  You would find diapers, wipes, snacks, lipstick, probably some trash.  Hand sanitizer.  I'm a huge germaphobe.  My little girl loves being outside and all things Nature, so there's a possibility of finding rocks, even bugs. 

Is there a local or national charitable cause that you support that you would like more people to be aware of? (I’m a big supporter of giving back where you can. Just simply spreading awareness is a great way to give back). I don't currently support any one in particular, however, if you're in the Lubbock area and looking at donating time or money, The Carpenters Church or the South Plains Food Bank are a great place to start. 

We are going to end each interview with a piece that we can share from your kitchen to the readers home kitchen. There is nothing more transcending than sharing a good recipe card from one friend to another. What is a favorite recipe that you like to share with friends/family?

Evie Mae's Green Chile Cheese Grits

2 cups corn grits/polenta

6 cups milk

4 Tablespoons of butter

1-2 cups of cheddar cheese

8 oz of frozen, chopped green chile (substitute jalapeno if you'd like)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine milk and butter and bring to a simmer/soft boil.  Slowly whisk in the dry grits and continue stirring until they start to thicken up.  Reduce heat and add cheese and green chile.  Continue stirring until desired thickness and add salt/pepper. 

If they get too thick you can add a little extra milk or butter. This is a great side dish or even a base for grilled shrimp or sausage.

We want to thank Mallory for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share a little bit about her adventures as a "Barbecue Wife." Next time you are in the Lubbock, TX area stop by and tell her "Hello." 

Our goal is to introduce you to some of the amazing women that we meet along the Barbecue Wife trail as often as we can. 

Till next time!


P.S. If you know a "Barbecue Wife" we should get to know, shoot us an email at We'd love to hear from you.