Hamlin, WV is a small town of 2,000 people. While there are a handful of restaurants, there were also two restaurants which closed in 2018, neither for economic reasons. With two years of experience in competitive barbecue events and participation in fairs, April Browning wanted to open a restaurant in Hamlin, WV. However, despite April’s passion for serving others by providing great BBQ, she had no experience operating a restaurant or a business of any sort.
EPIC Mission met April in March 2020 and began working with her to build her community analysis, business plan, and financial projections before helping her to locate funding to make the dream of Opening Carnivore BBQ become reality. Finally, after many years of dreaming and many months of hard work behind the scenes, the Carnivore BBQ opened in Hamlin on February 27, 2020. Three weeks after opening, the Governor of WV ordered a shut-down of restaurants and all non-essential businesses. However, food delivery and pickup was still permitted. EPIC Mission came alongside to work with April to re-define the business model and to help evaluate costs of doing business (food costs, delivery costs, cost of carry out containers, and personnel expenses) to trim the fat and go as lean as possible during these challenging times. EPIC Mission continues regular conversations with April to address the ever-changing landscape of doing business during a global pandemic and, without question, the people of Hamlin are behind Carnivore BBQ’s new business.