Are you from Montgomery?
No. I was born in Okinawa, Japan, at Kadena U.S. Air Force base. After seven years in Pensacola, my family moved to Coosada (my dad was from Montgomery). I moved back to the area after 10 years in Birmingham.
When and why did you open Dreamland BBQ in Montgomery?
On April 9, 2009. I had managed the Dreamland location in Birmingham and wanted to open one in Montgomery. When I heard that the Atlanta Highway location was closing, I called Dreamland and asked if we could move it downtown. I am very grateful to Betsy McAtee, CEO of Dreamland Holdings, for saying yes.
What’s special about Dreamland barbecue?
The legacy of John “Big Daddy” Bishop and his family. They started Dreamland in 1958 after “Big Daddy” asked God for a better way than being a brick mason to support his family. He had a dream, and God gave him the BBQ sauce recipe; the rest is history.
What makes the Montgomery location special?
The amazing people that work there. We have made it a goal to create an environment where people can be themselves, hold each other accountable and be treated with dignity. And we brew Railyard beer.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The people I work with and the guests we serve. The food is delicious, and I try to eat at least one rib and some banana pudding every day, but the people make the difference. We know that what we do isn’t serious, but we are very serious about what we do.
What are your interests outside of work?
Spending time with my family. Cooking, listening to music and relaxing on my back porch with a Railyard Alabama Pale Ale. We attend St James UMC, which provides lots of opportunities to serve others. I really enjoy meeting new people, especially those who are passionate about what they are doing.
Dreamland just celebrated its 10-year anniversary downtown. “I’m so proud of the employees for making the transition to our location at 12 West Jefferson,” Bob Parker said, “and I’m proud of the fact that we have more than 220 years of Dreamland experience at our store and that so many amazing people have trusted me with their time and energy so they can provide for their families.”