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A home-style taste of Chicago

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Charles Rivers, business management junior, and Arianna Richards, exercise and sports science junior, are owners of BB's Chicago Style Foods.
Charles Rivers, business management junior, and Arianna Richards, exercise and sports science junior, are owners of BB's Chicago Style Foods. Currently they sell fried chicken wings and fries with their own special mild sauce.

Photo by Sonia Garcia | Lifestyle Reporter

Two bobcats have teamed up to keep a tasty family recipe alive by selling food to their college community out of their home in San Marcos.

Charles Rivers, business management junior, and Arianna Richards, exercise and sports science junior, have brought the Rivers family secret fried-chicken recipe to their college town. Ordering from BB’s Chicken is as simple as sending in an order on Twitter and picking it up at the couple’s home.

Currently there is only one meal available for purchase consisting of a basket of wings and fries served with a special mild sauce.

The origins of the flavors go back approximately nine years when the Rivers family owned a restaurant and created their own recipes for the Chicago-style foods they sold.

The Houston-based restaurant, BB’s Chicago Style Foods, lasted about two years until they transitioned to a food trailer to save on expenses. Once the Rivers family decided to adopt a food truck model later on, they closed shop for three years while building the ideal food truck for the company.

The food truck was ready for operation in 2015 and operated in Houston until Rivers’ family moved back to their hometown of Chicago in late 2016.

With Rivers’ family living in Chicago, it was up to him to keep the business running. Last year Rivers brought Richards on as co-owner as she had previous experience working with the family business. Then started their story of making chicken and fries from their college home while both attending classes and studying.

“After the Annual Chicago Picnic, we had food leftover, and since we brought it here we started selling from our home,” Rivers said.

From restaurant to home business, the couple decided to continue using the name BB’s as a representation of Rivers’ family. His youngest sister Breanna created the name BB’s because their mom’s name is Brenda and their other sister’s name is Brenesha.

Within the next month the duo hopes to earn enough funds to bring the actual food truck to San Marcos.

“We’re trying to build stability by bringing the food truck, working to support ourselves is a challenge, but it has paid off,” Richards said.

Rivers and Richards said taking on the business on their own has not been easy, but they have taken advantage of the resources that Texas State provides its students. They utilized Copy Cats to print their business cards, which served as their first step in getting their name out by distributing the cards to students in the Quad.

Within the first two weeks of BB’s operating in San Marcos, Zeneyda Jackson, communication studies senior, got their business card while walking on campus. She confessed she now buys their food sometimes up to three times per week.

“They are very professional, you can get fried chicken anywhere, but it’s their effort that keeps me going and there’s something different about (their chicken),” Jackson said.

Rivers and Richards said they are looking forward to a bright future with their business. Once they bring their food truck to town they will be able to offer a full menu with other Chicago-style foods such as hot dogs and pizza puffs.

BB’s is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings while weekend operations vary. To stay up to date and order BB’s Chicago Style Foods, check out their twitter account @BB_Beef.

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