When Tony and Shelly Houk started Homerun BBQ in Milford, they thought they’d just have a simple stand at Fun Days.
Tony was sitting at a softball game when the name came to mind.
“I wrote out a menu, and in about 45 minutes had a concept,” he said. “I went home and pitched it to the family, and that’s where it started.”
Over the past two years, their business has taken off. They’ve made appearances at Fun Days, the Big Blue Mile Shootout in Cordova, Pac ‘N’ Save in Milford, Concordia University’s block party in Seward, the York town square and at the Milford Backpack Program benefit concert last weekend.
They plan to set up shop in their big red trailer at Bottle Rocket Brewing Company in Seward the first Friday of each month, and they’ll be in Seward on the Fourth of July at the corner of Fifth and Jackson.
All that is in addition to the private events they’ve catered.
“We just did a class reunion. We did one wedding,” Shelly said.
As far as advertising, Tony said it’s mostly been word of mouth.
“We’re on Facebook. You can find where we’re going to be. Our summer schedule is listed there.”
One other couple helps, and so do their children.
“We’ve been volunteers and help with fundraising events for several years, whether it be for Scouts or church,” Tony said.
Their kids suggested they do something for a profit.
“We do this for vacation money,” he said.
Though menu items vary, the business is all about the ballgame.
“Pulled pork is a Home Run. Smoked turkey is a Foul Ball. Brisket is a Bullpen. Loaded nachoes, that we call The Mound. Bases Loaded is a baked potato,” Tony said.
Their signature buns are branded with “stitching” to look like a baseball. They use a food-grade, stainless steel branding iron.
Their focus is on reasonably priced food and fast service, and everyone has a different role to play on the team.
“Everybody has their niche,” Tony said.
“We’re all finding the best place where we belong,” Shelly said.