How We Began
In October of 2004, a hot dog cart in front of Lowes in Kingsport TN was the first foray into the world of food service. As time passed a mobile concession shack was set up at Advanced Call Center Technologies in Boones Creek, a suburb of Johnson City, TN. The hot dog cart was eventually retired and The Shack at the call center stayed for almost 6 years. Along the way the dream was born to own a restaurant. When it came time to name the new venture, Cheyenne suggested naming it after my father, The Country Parson. So we opened a country diner in Jonesborough, the oldest town in TN. As time passed, we evolved into a BBQ restaurant and operated out of an old gas station right across from the county courthouse. It still had the garage doors overhead and the gas pumps out front. However, being in a small town meant that growth was limited so the decision was made to relocate the restaurant to Fort Walton Beach - and here we are!
My Father, The Country Parson
My father was a pastor in south Alabama who wrote one article each week for the local newspaper under the title ‘The Country Parson’. After he stopped writing due to age limitations, my siblings compiled a book of those articles under the title ‘The Parson Says…...’ (There is a copy on the shelf here at the restaurant if you would like to look through it) My father was a man of many talents although he never finished high school. (He did get his GED later on though) He had quit at the age of 12 in order to earn money to help feed his 5 younger siblings. As a result he held many jobs in his life time. He loved to train horses, he was a farrier (some of his tools are on the wall of the restaurant), a blacksmith, a carpenter, brick layer, electrician, a truck driver, salesman, and many other things. He also wrote quite a few poems and the family has copies of a book of poems that he wrote. But most of all he was a family man, a devoted husband and father. My father was a very big influence on who I am as a person, my outlook and my personal standards. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 87. There have been many, many times during the last few years I wished I could give him a call and ask his opinion! He taught me many things, the most important being hard work and refusing to quit even when the odds were against me. So even though I can’t call now it is our wish to run this restaurant on the morals and principles that he would have approved of. If you are happy with your dining experience, please tell everyone - if your aren't happy, please tell me!