DEBORAH JONES (R) & MARY JONES (L) - THE PITMASTERS

Age: 60 & 57

Occupation: Owners of Jones BBQ

Location: Kansas City, MO

Relationship Status: Deborah (in a relationship), Mary (single)

BACKGROUND:

Sisters, Mary & Deborah, have been in the BBQ business for over 30 years. When they were just seven and ten years old they used to stand on milk crates at their father's restaurant, Jones BBQ, making sausages and smoking meats. After their father's sudden passing, the sisters were forced to shutter the restaurant. Five years ago Deborah came across a run-down red shack that she knew would be the perfect spot to get back in the game. Deborah called up Mary, and said "we ain't done yet." and Mary was 100% along for the ride. Since reopening Jones BBQ they manage to sell out of food every single day. In addition to being the only female pitmasters in KC, these two are best friends. They share a zest for life and pride themselves on putting their customers and Jones BBQ before themselves.

CALLING IN THE EXPERTS:

FASHION: Deborah and Mary start their day by wearing matching yellow t-shirts that are completely covered in holes from the BBQ Pit. When customers arrive they switch into their old Jones BBQ t-shirts or sweaters. Both sisters have poor vision, but find it challenging to wear their eyeglasses while they are working. They have never attempted to wear contact lenses. Mary has never carried a purse and opts to keep all sorts of belongings stuffed in her pockets.

 

GROOMING: Mary and Deborah have beautiful natural hair that they style in basic pigtails and ponytails. Mary has NEVER been to the beauty parlour and trims her ends herself. Mary has also never worn a drop of make-up! Both sisters are insecure about their missing teeth, but they are such positive and optimistic people they try not to let it get them down.

 

DESIGN: Unfortunately, the new Jones BBQ location doesn't have any indoor seating. It breaks Mary and Deborah's hearts that some of their long-time customers can't sit inside and "chat and chew" with them. The pit is located outside, which means that Deborah is out in all kinds of elements tending to her meat. She doesn't let thunder and rain stop her! She wishes the pit could be enclosed or at least partially indoors so they didn't have to close in the event of freezing ice or snow. The entire space needs a fresh look to reflect the amazing product that is being delivered.

 

FOOD: Although she is an excellent pitmaster, Deborah does NOT know how to cook on a stove top! Mary says she can't even boil an egg! On her days off she can be found at her favorite fried chicken spot, or at the Burger King drive-thru. The sisters have talked about expanding their menu to include some healthier options such as turkey or chicken sausage.

CULTURE: Deborah and Mary put the restaurant before everything. Deborah recently missed her niece's wedding, because she refused to close for the day. These sisters need to learn it's ok to turn off "work" for a bit, and focus on family! 

FAB FIVE CONNECTION: Antoni will have a field day exploring the ins and outs of the restaurant and the BBQ pit. He’ll learn a few tricks from the sisters while teaching them new ways to spice up their menu.  

EVENT: BBQ Championships - http://www.americanroyal.com/bbq/

Nominator: Warren Jones, AKA “Fudd,” younger brother

 

  • Warren has watched his older sisters carry out their father's legacy against all odds. He wants nothing more than for them to receive the beauty and joy that they are constantly giving to their community and long-time patrons.