Demetric and Cherise Herron started The Purple Pig BBQ in 2015 while they were both active duty.

Demetric served as a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army, while Cherise served as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

The Purple Pig began in a tent at fairs and festivals until the tent was destroyed in a windstorm, Demetric said.

“We had the San Antonio BBQ Cookoff coming up that next Friday,” he said. “So, we scavenged around trying to find a food trailer or truck. We finally found one and brought it home, and it was orange so we had to paint it purple, because we couldn’t be The Purple Pig while it was painted orange.”

The Purple Pig saw success as a food truck at Fort Sam Houston and around San Antonio until the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to stop.

“I was a little bit scared because the military had not given any guidance on proper PPE and things like that,” Herron said. “Between me and my wife, we decided to close down for a minute, and we took a little hiatus.”

Through a partnership with local business owner Nick Marquez, the Herrons operated The Purple Pig on Schertz Main Street before opening a permanent location there in 2021.

“This building was a beauty shop at the time, and [Marquez] asked if we wanted it,” Herron said. “We decided to take a stab at it and started doing designs and all of that stuff to get up and going.”

Herron said his passion for cooking came from barbecuing as a kid and learning from his uncles in Indianapolis.

Herron said The Purple Pig is a Midwestern style of barbecue rather than traditional Texas barbecue.

“The biggest thing, I think, is the kind of wood we use,” he said. “Most Texas barbecue places use Oak or Mesquite. Pecan is also prominent here, and it is a lighter wood, lighter smoke, and it still gives you great flavor, so that is what I chose to use.”

The restaurant focuses on pork items, but it also offers chicken and brisket for those looking for variety.

“We do primarily pork,” he said. “Texas is primarily a beef state, and to be honest, I never cooked a brisket until I moved to Texas. I cook brisket, but I wanted people to enjoy some pork, too. You get beef everywhere around here, so we are a little different.”

Demetric said Cherise makes all of the side dishes from scratch every day, and the couple is at the restaurant whenever they can be.

“We put a lot into cooking our food,” he said. “This place is our second home, and people don’t really realize what is done from this small family to serve hundreds of people and to have good, quality food.”

The Herrons hope to keep making barbecue and serving the community with food they can be proud of.

“We just try to make the world better one rib at a time,” Demetric said. “We’re not loud people, and we are humbled by what we do.”