239 years and 3 months after the greatest country in the history of the world was declared to exist The Tejas Chocolate Craftory declared its own existence in Tomball, TX. Founded in October 2015, we will be 9 months old on July 15. There will be babies that were just a twinkle in their daddy’s eye when we opened.
Speaking of babies, my third grandson Noah came by for a visit this week.
Noah was born on Valentines Day. Earlier that day there was a grown man that looked at me like that when I informed him we had sold out of pork spare ribs.
That’s not easy news for me to deliver I can assure you.
I think our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. I personally thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Making your own way doesn’t always feel like sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops, but feeling any other way than fortunate would be an error in perspective. Us Americans, we’ve got it good. America ain’t perfect for sure, and there are those that have genuine hardship, but most of us have it good. Real good. It’s up to us the make the best of it and get those that are truly in need some help when we are able. I can’t see feeling any other way about this Founder’s gift that keeps on giving.
Our own American Dream is 1 part what the Founders gave us, and 2 parts what we make of it. There is no simpler way to say it: “If it is to be it is up to me” – William H. Johnsen.
I’m going to celebrate The Fourth of July by taking the day off and going to a baseball game. I’m going to watch The Astros, eat a hot dog or two, drink a beer or two, chat about our lives & business with Michelle & Greg, and soak up as much patriotic red, white & blue as I can for the day. I love America. Then I’m going to watch Jose Altuve, the smallest guy on the field, pay harder and better than the rest of them. Altuve went from being cut at a try out to winning a batting title and playing in the MLB All Star game. There’s hardly a better example of never giving up.
Early this week we got to spend a little time with some other people who love barbecue like we do.
That’s JR Cohen in the cowboy hat, Russel Roegels, and Danielle Bennett The Diva Q hanging out by the cooker with Chef Greg and I. They stopped in early Tuesday to chat up the barbecue life. The Diva Q has a cook book that is substantial and beautiful. The lady knows her barbecue, but says we had her at chocolate while polishing off one of Michelle’s truffles.
JR Cohen is a professional hat wearing, surf fishing, barbecue eating, social media managing, whiskey sipping meat head. Following him on Twitter here and on HouBBQ. You will be entertained and informed.
Russel is the very essence of the American Dream. He served his country in the military and began a life in barbecue decades ago. He cut ties with Baker’s Ribs so he could do barbecue his own way. Russel & Misty Roegels are running an elite barbecue joint on Voss called Roegels Barbecue. Do yourself a favor and go eat there. Russel has given us answers to many a question. He’s a barbecue knowledge vending machine is what he is. Chef Greg got to know him while running the kitchen at Mancuso’s Italian Table right next door to Russel’s place. The Houston barbecue scene is filled with these relationships. We dig it the most, and can’t be more giddy about being a part of the Houston barbecue story.
There have been many days when someone tells us about the times they’ve driven by The Craftory and didn’t realize we do barbecue. I get it. I’m the same way. I’ve driven the same route for years and not noticed something here or there. I get hyper focused on where I’m heading.
Yo yo yo…WE MAKE BARBECUE too.
That’s our neighbor Don and his grand daughter installing our new sign. Don’s a sign guy. How convenient is that. He matched colors and fonts. It’s like sign magic or something.
Natural gas and city water lines made us modify our original plan of an angled two sided sign so we could yell at you whether you wuz headed north or south on Elm Street.
We took the unused second half of the two sided angle sign and put it in a place where you could see the barbecue sign from over yonder.
Pump some iron at Absolute Physique and eat some barbecue. Makes perfect sense too me. You can see The Craftory Roof when your stuck at the train crossing on main street. Now there’s some light reading for you while your waiting for the train to pass.
Sign guy Don likes to eat our barbecue after an enterprising sign making day, so we are trading sign work for barbecue. Everyone is happy, well fed, and more visible.
Love this country.
Just about every week Sara brings us some of her beer to have on hand.
11 Below Brewing is a family business over in the Willow Brook area. They brew some quality beverages. Go there and drink their beer. I Love them all. What could possibly be more American than quitting your day job to brew beer for a living?
Man, I love this country.
Heading into the Fourth of July weekend we had a house full of eaters. On Saturday we had one hour where we had 43 orders out the window. That is the 5th or 6th time we processed more than 40 orders in an hour. Some orders are for one and some are for 10. We average about 3 people per ticket. Our kitchen staff put a tray of food in the pick up window about every 90 seconds feeding around 130 people. I think that is pretty darn remarkable. It’s a solid plan by Chef Greg and well executed by Kris, Josh, and Dylan. We are fortunate to have such a great staff.
The Swonkies showed up and It looks like they are cornering the market on smiles. Something tells me the new one on the way will come out smiling. Grabbing some barbecue and a few laughs feels like a solid day in Merica.
God, I love this country.
We picked up our lemonade game this week by hand squeezing lemons.
I did end up buying a bigger squeezer. I was afraid that I’d break someone’s hand with too much forearm power. If you were with us on Saturday, you got to see the squeezing happening. I’d taken some pictures of the kids watching the action but the lemon juices was jacking with my iPhone. Anyways, the plan is to make the best lemonade possible and from time to time mix in a seasonal fruit. Lemonade on a hot day is hard to beat.
Have an Arnold Palmer. Fresh brewed tea and lemonade goes down easy on a hot day. Refills are free.
Speaking of things to mix in your tea, our new mint plant is getting settled into its new location nicely.
This Lebanese mint is supposed to be a nice smooth mint. We’ll let this little guy get bigger before we start harvesting leaves for the mint syrup. The plant is behind the Tejas Chocolate sign so feel free to say hello and give it a pep talk on your way into The Craftory. The mint pant is over by the ramp.
Free to be ugly
Around four O’clock on Saturday a group came in and the guy buying the food wondered why we close at 5:00 PM. He said too me that most people are just getting their day going by 5. He said that to me in a such a condescending arrogant tone that I almost wanted to give him back his money and ask him to leave. I let it go. Our nation allows people like him to freely be a jack wagon. It’s not how I like to be treated or ever want to treat another person. I simply told this gentleman that we had a line out the door at 11:00 am so I disagree with your assessment sir. You are also free to build your own restaurant and keep the hours you see fit. Have a nice meal sir. Then they left their table looking like a dumpster. But you know what, I can take this guys crap and still have a great day. He sucks, and I don’t suck is how I see it. I’m three times the human he is. We had a killer week nonetheless. It was our best revenue week to date, and I’m darn happy about that fact.
Well that’s all I have for the week. I could really use a good burger about now. I haven’t had a good burger in a while. Anyways, I wan’t to wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July. We really are fortunate to live in this great, free, and brave nation.
I was talking to one of our Firemen the other day about the firework show on Monday. He’s part of the set up team. You’re in good hands Tomball. The celebration will be grand. Enjoy.
In case you missed it, we will be closed Tuesday July 5th. The cooking ain’t happening while we’re at the baseball game on The Fourth.
See you around the hood.