Meat Church Barbeque Supply store has everything a person needs to take his or her grilled food from ordinary to extraordinary. The store will celebrate with an official grand opening from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at its location at 205 S. College St. in Waxahachie’s downtown business district.
Renowned pit master Matt Pittman told the Sun he’s excited to open a retail location in the heart of downtown Waxahachie. He’s known by many for his appearance with his brother Josh on the fifth season of Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” which helped develop Meat Church into a well-known brand in the barbequing community.
“People are always asking me when I am going to be opening a restaurant or when I am going to write a cookbook,” he said. “We have had all of those offers and declined them all to focus on what we are doing.
“We create barbeque products and appear,” Pittman said. “We then spend a ton of time teaching and evangelizing barbeque. I am probably most well-known for our products and – secondary – the teaching of and evangelizing of barbeque around the world.”
Pittman said he’s had the opportunity to teach across the United States and overseas in such countries as Sweden and Australia. He has even gotten to cook for country music artists like Luke Bryan.
In the five years Meat Church has been operating online, it has developed a large social media presence with more 250,000 followers on Instagram. Pittman said he’s always been passionate about what he does and that passion translated onto social media.
“My strategy has been to post a really good-looking photo of something like a brisket and then tell you lightly how I made it, what I used and how I cooked it,” Pittman said. “I think that really resonated with people. It naturally attracted people to say, ‘I want to try it.’ ”
With Meat Church continuing to grow, Pittman left his job of 21 years as vice president of technology operations with Elevate Credit in Fort Worth in December to work on expanding the business’ brand and footprint in the marketplace.
“Meat Church revenue got to the point where I thought it made sense to manage it full time,” he said. “Meat Church.com is what fuels our revenue primary around the world and the U.S. As I create content for YouTube and Instagram that is what really drives our sales.
“We needed a bigger place to run Meat Church,” Pittman said. “I thought that if I am going to be in Waxahachie every day and have this facility that we do orders in, wouldn’t it be cool to have like a flagship store? This store is really cool and I just don’t mean the look because everything in here is the story of my barbeque journey.
“So, the stuff that is in here is the stuff that I use in my life to make barbeque with the exception of a few things, which are like random accessories that if you are going to have a grill store you have got to have,” he said.
The store has everything a person needs to host a barbeque at his or her home, with everything from grills to meat. Other featured products include seasonings, brines, injections, sauces, cooking utensils, cutting boards, coolers, T-shirts, hats and aprons.
“The thing that I can say about us that we are trying to be a lifestyle brand,” Pittman said. “A lot of people will buy our merchandise that don’t necessarily make barbeque but they are barbeque fans. It is kind of cool to walk into Love Field and see somebody walk by in a Meat Church shirt.
“I am trying to be the one stop shop for when you grill or barbeque, I will have what you need,” he said. “It is kind of like growing up in a small town and having a feed store that everybody went in to get this or that.”
The building Meat Church is housed in was built in 1890. Through careful design, the interior of the building complements the outside with older materials used to craft a unique look.
“We wanted to do it justice and fill it with really old stuff,” he said. “This wood is 100-year-old shiplap and this metal is a 50-year-old corrugated metal that came off of a barn in Grand Prairie,” Pittman said. “Then, most of the fixtures here are really old. This grocery cart is from the 1920s and this barn wood on top of it is from the 1800s. We didn’t do a 100-percent perfect job but we really tried to put reclaimed stuff in here.”
Meat Church will hold a grand opening celebration at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, with a ribbon cutting with the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce. The store will also take part in the Tap into Downtown beer stroll that same day.
The stroll will take place from 11 a.m. -5 p.m., with tickets able to be purchased for $10 at the Ellis County Museum on College Street. If people visit all 10 stops and take their map to Meat Church, they will have the chance to win more than $200 in gift cards and a $50 gift card to Meat Church.
Throughout the day, Meat Church will have its trailer out in front of the store to provide people with barbeque samples. There will also be cooking demonstrations.
“I would say that Meat Church is about using barbeque to bring people together and make good memories,” Pittman said. “I just want to teach people to make good barbeque in the back yard for their friends and families,” Pittman said. “No matter how you cook it or do it, your life centers around food, and you’re around a table with somebody.”
Meat Church, which has already opened for business, has hours from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The store is closed Sundays and Mondays.
For more information about Meat Church products and barbeque classes, visit its website at www.meatchurch.com.