Our Story

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In June 2010, Brandon and I established Caro-Bama LLC as a very small, catering side-business. That business soon grew to include Caro-Bama BBQ Food Truck as well as our newest expansion, Caro-Bama BBQ North Quarter.  But before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this one…

 I grew up in Pickens, South Carolina working along side my daddy as he smoked pork shoulders for church fundraisers, fire department fundraisers, family gatherings and for anyone else that needed it. Several times each year, he would roll out his hand-made black barrel smokers and load them up.  You could smell the smoke from miles around.  When we were lucky enough to have his famous smoked chicken, my mom would mix up his secret Vinegar Sauce and quickly hide the recipe back in its special place.  I can still remember my dad and our house smelling like hickory for days after.  Some of my best memories come from special events centered around my daddy’s BBQ.  Little did I know, but my life would be blessed with two great BBQ men…

Brandon’s early years were spent in Goosecreek, SC.  His family then relocated to Opp, Alabama for high school. His first memorable BBQ experience took place at Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa on a high school trip with one of his best friends.  As he tells it, he ate until he was sick that night, but had no regrets.  He could hardly wait until he could go back again.  As Brandon began his career, a mentor named Dan introduced him to his family white sauce recipe over a 4th of July BBQ in Montgomery Alabama.  BBQ quickly became one of Brandon’s hobbies and favorite pastimes.  From that point on, Brandon became the designated pit master at gatherings of family and friends.  Little did he know, he was about to meet a family who specialized in feeding BBQ to large crowds, and their daughter just happened to be his future other half. 

Brandon and I met at Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, Florida in 2004. Brandon helped me pick up inner city kids on Wednesday nights for a weekly VBS. That friendship turned into love, and we were married in 2006.  After a few years of marriage and cooking often for family and friends, we decided to give catering a shot. We tried to talk my daddy into selling us one of his smokers…not a chance.  A man doesn’t let go of something like that.  My Daddy did, however, call us up on the 4th of July saying he had found us our own barrel smoker for sale on the side of the road.  We cleared out our tiny savings account, and bought that $500 smoker… And the rest is history.  As we dreamed up our company name, we wanted to make sure that it told our story.  Caro-Bama BBQ did the trick.

Between Brandon’s BBQ skills, Lora’s experience growing up in  a small business family, and a collection of precious recipes, Caro-Bama BBQ was born.  Speaking of births, mixed in our BBQ journey, we were blessed with two little Caro-Bamas of our own.  Walter was born in 2011 and that same year, we bought our food truck. Henry came along in 2013, and some of our first customers got to contribute to his baby fund/tip jar.  If you think working a food truck is tight, try doing it nine months pregnant! You’ll often find our boys unloading wood and greeting customers when they have the chance.  Finally, our dream of a family business had come true.

Our catering business started in the downtown Orlando area, and we quickly expanded to all of Central Florida including Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Apopka, Celebration, Mt. Dora and beyond. We have catered events of all types and sizes throughout Orlando and surrounding cities.  We have now expanded our family business!  In addition to the food truck, we are now serving our food in a permanent location in the North Quarter Market in downtown Orlando.  We have teamed up with Credo Coffee to create a unique coffee and BBQ concept.  Our meats and our sauces are a blend of the BBQ traditions of the Carolinas and Alabama.  The combination is irresistible!  You’ll want to try our famous Bama White Sauce, not to mention everything else on our menu! Be sure and give my Daddy’s Carolina Vinegar sauce a try, and you’ll see why we use the tagline, “Tastes of Tradition”.

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21 thoughts on “Our Story

  1. Lora – I am hoping you guys are available to cater an event at my home on Friday, March 1st for the staff and volunteers at Grace Medical Home. Can you please email me if you can do this?

  2. Hey I’m one of the owners of Burgerfi in Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs. We met a couple weeks ago. I would love to come out and see you guys. When will you have a January schedule up? See you soon! Daryl

    1. Hey there! We have had a little time off in January, but will be out and about in the days ahead. I try to post our schedule on Mondays, so you should be able to check back here on Mondays for our locations for the week. Look forward to seeing you again!

  3. Good Morning,

    I called last week to ask if you are available to cater on Thursday, October 8 for a company lunch event from 12pm to 2pm. This event is for our Costumer Service Appreciation Week.

    1. I’m so sorry that we missed your message! We upgraded our phones last week and it was a total mess. We lost a lot of information! How many people are you trying to feed?

      1. Thank you for getting back to me. We will have about 40 to 50 people. We were wondering if we could have the food truck come to our location and serve. The 40+ people will not include our surrounding offices. We’ve had food trucks come previously and we advertise to our surrounding offices for them to enjoy as well.

      2. Sharon, I just got home and checked our calendar and it looks like we’re actually booked all day that day. I’m so sorry. Thank you so much for considering us! Please keep us in mind in the future.

  4. If love to speak with someone about coming out to serve food for my daughters 16th birthday party on October 24th 2015! I’d love to have your food truck there.

    Thanks!

    Jayne-Lisa

  5. I had my second Carobama experience today at the dragon boat races. My congratulations and thanks to you both for delivering the real thing: chopped pork, with slaw and carolina vinegar sauce. Authentically delicious.

  6. Hey Brandon
    You guys where at the ESPN complex for a huge cheer leading comp. I hoping you can help me out with your mustard sauce!

    From Seattle

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