The story of C&J Barbeque is an interesting one. In 1981 Chip and Jo Manning bought a convenience store down on Harvey Road near Highway 30. Chip sold gas, cigarettes, beer and soda. Soon after opening, he put in a barbeque pit. In the beginning Chip was cooking an average of 20 pounds of meat a day. People started coming by for gas and a sandwich. The food started to get more and more popular. By 1997 Chip and Jo decided to get out of the convenience store business and converted the store to a deli style BBQ restaurant. In 2000, they won the Readers Choice Award for best BBQ in the Brazos Valley. Winning every year after that including this year (2013) making it 14 years in a row. In 2001, they were honored with the Newman 10 Award for the fastest growing small business. In 2002, they won the Best of the Brazos award for BBQ and have also won every year including this year (2013) making it 12 years in a row. All three C&J locations combined are now cooking an average of 2,200 pounds of meat a day.
In 2002, a man approached the Manning's about adding a location in Bryan. After some deliberation, they decided to open a second location and the Bryan store was born. Because the Bryan store is the companies largest store, all catering and most deliveries are handled at that location. They also have 3 private rooms that can be reserved for special events.
In 2006, they were approached about opening a third location at a new shopping center at the corner of Southwest Parkway and Wellborn, only one mile from Texas A&M. They decided to do it and the third location was opened.
The success of the restaurants can be attributed to an amazingly loyal and dedicated staff, quality food, low prices and the Manning's commitment to their staff and community. Charles Alexander (Bryan), Chayce Barthels (Harvey), and Justin Manning (Southwest Parkway) are the general managers of each store. They have all been with C&J for over 12 years. Their daughter Reagan worked at the old convenience store when she was younger and is now back at the business as the Regional Director. The Manning's think of their employees as family and friends and have enormous respect for them. That respect is shown true by the consideration and care that the managers and staff give the customers. There are regulars that come in each and every day, they come back because of good food and friendly service.