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SHELLY AND JERRY Cobb, owners of Back Forty Texas BBQ in Shingle Springs are dedicated to serving quality barbecue. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Secrets of Success 2012

Living by the Golden Rule: Back Forty Texas BBQ

By From page SOS22 | December 31, 2012

The Golden Rule is the backbone secret of success at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Shingle Springs.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Jerry and Shelley Cobb own and operate the Highway 50 Corridor’s favorite place for authentic Texas-style barbecue. They hail from the Bay Area, where the original Back Forty Texas BBQ was brought from the Lone Star State in 1978. As customers, they believed in the barbecue concept and established their franchise in Shingle Springs some 20 years ago.

“Barbecue is an art, an art that takes time and patience,” Jerry said. “All barbecue is good, some is just better than others.”

The Cobbs know that it is important to keep their barbecue and customer service standards high.

“You have to treat people the way they want to be treated,” Shelley said. “We have a loyal clientele, and we know we would not be here without them.”

In addition to the restaurant itself, Back Forty Texas BBQ has a thriving catering business.

“We feed as many as 1,500 people on some days during the summer,” Shelley said. “It’s hard to believe that this little kitchen handles that much, but it does.”

Shelley believes in providing customers with the very best fare.

“Here the focus is obviously on the food. It’s got to be good,” she said. “It has to be consistent. It can’t be good one day and not on another.”

The Cobbs’ belief in doing good to all extends to their staff as well.

“It’s important to have a happy staff. If the staff is happy, the customer is happy,” Shelley said. “We get compliments all the time. Both our staff and our customers know that when they come in here, they will be treated like family. And that’s the whole idea.”

Treating everyone like family is an everyday way of life at Back Forty.

“People ask us all the time if we are a family-run business. Yes, we are. And if you’ve worked with us long enough, you are family too.”

Regular customers know Back Forty’s employees well: Andrew and Kim (who’ve worked there six years), Phil (nine years), Jessica and Peanut (19 years) and Jay (since the grand opening 20 years ago).

“All of our kids have worked here, too – whether they wanted to or not,” Shelley added with a laugh.

Running a successful restaurant is a lot of work, no doubt about it. The Cobbs find their work to be very satisfying. Especially one unexpected bonus: the past employees they mentored.

“It’s amazing, they all come back to visit … and it is amazing to see how successful a lot of the kids who worked here have become,” Shelley said. “They’ve all gone into very responsible careers: as a Life Flight RN, a pharmacist, police officer, publicist, even the military. And they learned their work ethic here. We are so proud of them.”

Back Forty Texas BBQ offers dine-in seating for 42, carry out and catering for just about any size event you can imagine. Their pork and beef ribs are legendary, as are their barbecued chicken and delicious sides. The menu also includes a generous number of appetizers, salads, soups, chili, sandwiches and desserts.

Back Forty Texas BBQ is located at 3977 Durock Road in Shingle Springs. Call 530-676-4040 for catering and carry out. Also visit backfortyshinglesprings.com.

Susan Laird

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