“Growing up, BBQ was always a community thing. It’s a very, very cost-effective way to feed a lot of people,” says Guy Cummins of Smokin’ This and That BBQ. Always having an interest (and talent) in meat-smoking, Guy didn’t consider the hobby a community-helping vocation until he went through a life-changing experience.
A hit and run accident left his leg shattered and brain shifted, on top of numerous other injuries. He woke up in the hospital months later where he was told by doctors the probability of him walking again was one in 10.
Guy remembers making a deal with himself during his recovery, saying, “Let me walk again and I’ll do something cool for someone every day.” He began a long road of training to get back on his feet, spending three years in a wheelchair, followed by using a series of canes before regaining the strength to walk again.
After the miraculous recovery, he knew he wanted to do something to positively impact people’s lives. He decided to leave his corporate construction gig of 30 years to pursue his passion of smoking meats full-time.
One of his first missions to make a difference via BBQ was feeding victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He and some friends were in a pub in Chicago (where he was living at the time) and decided to get an RV, hook up the smoker (which Guy constructed from scratch, by the way), grab some meat, and head to New York to help.
It was there that he ended up learning about and assisting with a group called Operation BBQ Relief. Mandy, Guy’s now-wife and owner of Smokin’ This and That, was one of the original founders of the BBQ group. The two got together after the event, bonded over a passion for giving back to the community, and the rest is romantic BBQ history.
After settling down in Kentucky, getting married, and opening a restaurant in Florence, the BBQ duo smokes well over a ton of meat every week. While Mandy is the official owner of Smokin' This and That, and Guy is technically retired, he still shows up at the restaurant “every damn day” as he puts it. The two have continued their philanthropic BBQ mission in the community by catering a variety of fundraisers, charity events, funerals, and more at no charge.
You read that correctly—no charge. They give away lots of food every year whenever they can because being able to help people out with good food is what the Cummins are all about.
When they aren’t supporting locals at events, they’re serving them in their friendly Florence joint. The hangout hosts live music and serves up smoked chicken, wings, ribs, and more that are smoked in the parking lot on a wood smoker. They also offer a variety of custom sauces, not that you need to add a sauce—the meat’s plenty tasty without it.
You’ll notice the restaurant is decked out with stories and memorabilia from Guy’s life, as well as wall-to-wall patriotic décor to honor those who served in the armed forces (Guy served in the US Marine Corps for six years). And when I say wall-to-wall, I mean it. The walls in the restaurant are covered in signatures and notes describing ways the BBQ couple has changed people's lives. Feel free to grab a pen and add to something yourself if you feel compelled after your visit.
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Smokin’ This and That BBQ is located at 10020 Demia Way (41042). Get a glimpse of the deliciousness in the photo gallery above.