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Reinventing Food Businesses

Written By CMG News Contributor, Barb Upchurch

BBQ Exchange shows us how it's done!

We caught up with Jaclyn Grieger from BBQ Exchange to learn about how they have handled their business during COVID-19. During this time of business reinvention, it’s great to hear a success story!

One of the key steps was keeping the restaurant open. BBQ Exchange is uniquely situated to transition easily to takeout food so they trimmed down the menu to execute their process better, and kept their loyal fans fed and happy. Staying open or closing has been a daunting decision for most restaurant owners.

Supply chain issues have also been an ongoing problem, but seem to be leveling out. Meat shortages in the early days of the shutdown have been ironed out. Because butchers were unable to process the products, becoming resourceful became a necessity. Autumn Olive Farms has continued to be a strong resource and partner to BBQ Exchange, and helped keep them stocked during the shortage period.

BBQ Exchange implemented safety protocols, putting their employees and guests first. They continue to book outdoor catering events, but most are postponed until 2021. With Albemarle County going back to tighter restrictions, this may have an impact on their business in the future.

What we know for a fact; food is selling and people are spending money on specialty and take-out foods to eat at home. Comfort is needed, and with the lack of other social outings, food has become a focal point.

Overall, BBQ Exchange continues to have steady business, and are grateful for every order! For online ordering, catering and store hours, see their website


Barb is a co-founder, and now owner, of The Apple Cart, a company that helps create and grow food businesses. The agency provides solutions for all stages of business development in the food industry. To contact Barb directly, please email her at

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