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Black History Month special report: Heavy B’s BBQ thrives during pandemic

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:18 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - In a time where some people all over the world are weary about sitting down in a restaurant, food trucks like Heavy B’s Barbeque are truly thriving.

The owner, Bruce Greenlee, said the pandemic, especially at the beginning, had a great impact on his Black-owned business.

Founded in Bronson, but can be found all over North-Central Florida, Greenlee explained that his food truck creates a safe environment for his customers.

“It actually was a positive and a boom for me,” Greenlee said. “They were able to come to an open environment and get food still. It worked really well for me and business really boomed during that time.”

He was inspired to open his business by his late cousin, Mike Glover, who taught him just about everything he knows.

“We were real real close and mike passed away a couple years ago and he actually taught me a lot of what I know about cooking, so I had a desire for years just to cook,” Greenlee said.

He retired from the Levy County school board and traded his desk job for an apron and spatula in 2018.

Because Heavy B’s is a Black-owned business, Greenleee said he faced struggles when opening.

“Sometimes the success won’t come to us as freely, and I say us as an African-American male,” Greenlee said.

But once he started his food truck, the Bronson community has been with him every step of the way.

“I’m in a great community and those people support me, Black or White, it doesn’t matter,” Greenlee said.

At Heavy B’s Barbeque, the motto is bbq at it’s best and customer, Ward McCray, agreed.

“The food is pretty good, it’s real good,” McCray said. “It’s fresh. It’s like you can feel it in your soul you know.”

Greenlee’s wife and business partner through it all, Amelia Greenlee, believed it’s important to show up for Black-owned business.

“It’s good to support one another,” said Amelia Greenlee. “If you’re going to show that you’re supportive to each other, other people are going to come out and support us.”

Heavy B’s Barbeque Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JUSTGOODBBQ

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