Southern Pride began in 1973 when an oven was designed to improve cooking operations at the "Hickory Bar-B-Q Pit", a barbecue restaurant owned by B.B. and Michael Robertson in Decatur, Illinois. The two had a need for a more consistent, less labor intensive way to prepare traditional BBQ. The basic design elements ultimately evolved into a manufacturable model (BBR700) that was first offered for sale in 1976. Mike, along with the co-founder of Southern Pride, B.B. Robertson, decided to fabricate and sell barbecue ovens. They recognized the amount of labor that was saved and having peace of mind would be attractive to other restaurateurs. That first year, Mike hand built 6 ovens and B.B. hit the road to sell them. 

Today, the same Pride and craftsmanship goes into each and every smoker that is built to order and our goal remains the same, to build the best wood burning barbecue pits and smokers available! 

Through the years our steady growth has seen the manufacturing facility move and expand to meet production demands. Research and development at Southern Pride, the past three decades have brought many innovation to the marketplace that serve all segments of the foodservice industry. Our commitment has always been to develop new equipment designs to meet the ever changing needs of the BBQ business. The name Southern Pride was created to better identify the core business of wood burning BBQ pits and smokers. We use it today as a signature of the craftsmanship and pride that goes in to every Southern Pride Wood Burning BBQ Pit & Smoker that we build.

Pictures through the years