San Marcos pitmaster builds BBQ business on family traditions, adds 2nd location

Justin Pearson opened San Marcos BBQ in 2014 and incorporated family recipes. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)
Justin Pearson opened San Marcos BBQ in 2014 and incorporated family recipes. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)

Justin Pearson opened San Marcos BBQ in 2014 and incorporated family recipes. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)

Image description
The restaurant has become known for its sandwiches, including The Buddy, which features brisket, sausage, pickles and onions. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)
Image description
Made in-house by Brina's Baking Co., desserts such as the buttermilk pie are offered individually or in bulk. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)
Image description
San Marcos BBQ serves homemade hatch gouda sausage that is freshly barbecued each day. (Courtesy San Marcos BBQ)
Justin Pearson developed a passion for the art of cooking barbecue while growing up and working in his grandfather’s restaurant, Chisholm Trail Barbecue, in Lockhart.

Pearson’s grandfather, Floyd Wilhelm, owned and operated the restaurant for more than 35 years, and Pearson spent his summers working and learning alongside him.

“It was always a passion,” Pearson said. “My grandfather was a huge mentor of mine. I studied everything he did and asked questions a thousand times.”

While attending Texas State University, Pearson decided to pursue a career path outside the restaurant industry, but his love for cooking was always at the back of his mind.

“I found myself catering for friends and cooking every weekend in college,” Pearson said. “I probably have a dozen spiral [notebooks] throughout high school and college where I had mapped out my barbecue business ideas.”


Before graduating in 2014, Pearson had a chance to start his own restaurant when Hayes County BBQ & Catering moved out of its Hunter Road location.

He worked with the previous owner, investors, and family and friends to bring his family’s style of salt-and-pepper-rubbed smoked meat to San Marcos. The business now offers catering and baked goods, he said. Customer favorites are its sausages, classic smoked brisket, braised cabbage and fresh pies made by Pearson’s sister, Sabrina.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, San Marcos BBQ incorporated online ordering, delivery and to-go options, and Pearson said he got ahead of the May meat shortage by buying brisket in bulk and freezing the meat until it could be used.

“I basically used all the money we had in our account and bought four weeks of briskets,” Pearson said. “That was probably the only reason we were able to create growth.”

In mid-August, Pearson plans to open a second location at 1701 S. I-35, San Marcos, where he will offer the same menu and incorporate the lessons he has learned in the last six years of business, he said.

“I want to continue to offer a great product that does not change and for more people to get to try it,” Pearson said. “When it all comes down to it, that’s what I’m after.”

San Marcos BBQ (original location)

2601 Hunter Road, San Marcos

512-938-1019 | www.sanmarcosbbq.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.



MOST RECENT

The toll increases are higher this year, as a result of inflation increasing the consumer price index over the past year. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Texas tolling agency moves forward with 5% toll increases for 2022

The increases range from $0.02 to $0.10 per toll and will take effect Jan. 1.

ExxonMobil has held office space at Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: ExxonMobil to bring Hughes Landing employees back to Spring location; Dave's Hot Chicken to open in Plano and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 27.

TxDOT broke ground on the $17.7 million project to extend Robert S. Light Boulevard. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT breaks ground on road extension to connect FM 1626 and I-35 in Buda

The Robert S. Light Boulevard extension will cost $17.7 million and is slated to be completed in 2024.

Hays CISD board of trustees approved funds for new aerospace program building Oct. 25. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hays CISD trustees approve $572K for aerospace program building at Johnson High School

Funds have been allocated toward a new Hays CISD building for its aerospace program.

"The Dude" is the signature burger at Lebowski's Grill. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Lebowski's Grill upends expectations in Austin; first Houston-area Costco Business Center opens in Stafford and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 26.

More than 35,000 passengers traveled through the airport on Oct. 25, the Monday following the 2021 F1 U.S. Grand Prix. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport sees busiest day ever following 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix

The new record topped the previous busiest day by more than 3,000 passengers.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 25.

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is set to begin renovations Oct. 25. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter to begin renovations

City Council approved $240,000 for renovations to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Cash Cow Burgers Co., from the owner and chef of Valentina's TexMex BBQ, is now open in Buda. (Courtesy Cash Cow Burgers Co.)
Valentina's TexMex BBQ owner opens Cash Cow Burgers in Buda

A new burger stand opened in Buda from the owner of Valentina's TexMex BBQ.