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Meet the Maker: Kerry Bexley, Snow’s BBQ


Kerry Bexley Snows BBQ
Kerry Bexley | Image courtesy Snow’s BBQ

Snow’s BBQ, based in the tiny town of Lexington, Texas, and only open on Saturdays, is widely regarded as one of the best barbecue joints in America. Both Texas Monthly and Southern Living named it the best in Texas, and its legendary pitmaster, “Ms. Tootsie” Tomanetz, is considered barbecue royalty, especially after being featured in an episode of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table: BBQ.” 

Every week, barbecue lovers come from miles around to line up for a taste of this spectacular classic Texas barbecue, but if you want to try it for yourself and can’t make it to Texas, Snow’s is shipping its legendary brisket, ribs, turkey, and more nationwide on Goldbelly! 

Kerry Bexley opened Snow’s in 2003, and we had the opportunity to chat with him over email about the restaurant, Ms. Tootsie, and what makes Snow’s barbecue so great. The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

How did Snow’s BBQ get its start?

I have been blessed with the opportunity to do many things in my life of 57 years, including prison guard, rodeo clown and bullfighter, owner of a fencing farm and ranch store, rancher, real estate agent, mining equipment operator, and landlord, to name a few. I knew in the early 2000s that there was a demand for good BBQ in this small-town of 1,100 people. Ms. Tootsie had previously owned a meat market that did BBQ on Saturdays from 1976-1996. I felt like if I could get her to be my pitmaster we could make a go at bringing BBQ back to town! 

Saturdays have always been the popular day for BBQ in Lexington, because the farmers usually came to town on Saturdays to get all their supplies, and our livestock auction is just a block away, where they brought their livestock to market. Tootsie and I had a long talk in late 2002 and she agreed to come to work for me and gave me a list of things she would like for opening day, in March 2003. The first 5 years went well, but mainly just locals and farmers bringing livestock to the auction.

What do you think sets Snow’s apart from the pack?

What sets us apart from everyone is that we have stayed true to what got us to this point in the first place. Being open on Saturdays only, and with the pits and seating area all together, guests can watch everything that is done during the cooking process. Our small rustic town hosts people from all over the world each week. Last time I counted, we had visitors from 23 different states and 15 countries on a Saturday morning!  

At Snow’s, you immediately become friends rather than customers. The entire staff is committed to making sure you have a great time while you’re visiting Snow’s. From the line raffle we do before opening to the free open bar to the close proximity of seating to the cooking area to, of course, all the great customer service and Texas hospitality, what you get while you are here is second to none!  Oh, and by the way, you will enjoy some of the best barbecue you have ever eaten.

Kerry, Ms. Tootsie, and the Snow’s BBQ Team
Kerry, Ms. Tootsie, and the Snow’s BBQ Team | Image courtesy Snow’s BBQ

How has Ms. Tootsie handled her fame?

Ms. Tootsie, now 89 years of age, has handled the well-deserved fame like a champ. This didn’t happen overnight, however, as she is a very hard-working lady that has always believed in getting the work done first, then relaxing and visiting. It is very rewarding for me to know that neither of us would have ever gotten to this point in business without each other. It is also very rewarding to be able to serve great people from all over the world each Saturday morning in this small town.

Ms. Tootsie at the pit
Ms. Tootsie at the pit | Image courtesy Snow’s BBQ

Is there a secret to making such great barbecue?

Snow’s secret to making great BBQ is to keep it simple. Start with a good quality product and give it a lot of attention and TLC. Snow’s has grown considerably over the years and with growth comes great staffing. The staff at Snow’s are second-to-none, including pitmaster Clay Cowgill, who has been with Snow’s for about 9 years. He does all the briskets and ribs and is also in charge of all the cooking for our online shipping. His attention to detail sets him apart from others, as he is always looking to improve.

Snow’s BBQ’s Brisket
Snow’s BBQ’s Brisket

How has partnering with Goldbelly affected your business?

Partnering with Goldbelly years ago has greatly increased the availability of Snow’s BBQ. The only thing that has grown at Snow’s over recent years is our internet sales. We choose our partners very carefully to maintain a great quality product and Goldbelly has been committed to the same standards as Snow’s, providing great products and great customer service to all. To have a great business, there are many things you need. Customers are one of them, and at Snow’s, we are VERY committed to great customer service and will never outgrow this!

Watch Snow’s BBQ on Goldbelly TV

Where do you see Snow’s BBQ in the future?

I see Snow’s BBQ to remain with its current plan of operation for many years, as we will never outgrow our current plan to offer a great product at a compatible price with great customer service. One thing I see today that’s so sad is a lack of great customer service and great hospitality at restaurants. They’re something that everyone could offer with a little training and good leadership, and it’s free! Everyone deserves to be treated special.

For a taste of Snow’s BBQ shipped straight to your door, discover all of their offerings on Goldbelly.

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