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  • Writer's picturekpphoto25

Together we donated to Sweets and Meats BBQ

Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of my first small zine titled "Reclaimed by Nature". It was a modest attempt at creating something affordable to generate enough momentum to get some cash flow to donate to a small business. I originally had this planned to just donate to whoever I could find on the fly. I ended up focusing on a black owned or black co-owned small business after everything that had happened in 2020 around the country. Anyone can say they care but not everyone can say they helped. TOGETHER WE DONATED! Every single one of you who bought a copy took action to put your money and effort toward something real, something tangible, something other than a post on social media. And for that, I applaud you.

Reclaimed by Nature zine by Kevin Parsons

I am not a big name on the scene and I don't have the online presence to draw a huge crowd so the funds raised are not as much as I had hoped for. That is not important tho, the important part is that I/you/we made true effort. We didn't just talk the talk, we walked the walk. Small businesses have been suffering every since March of 2020. Covid has altered how the world works and some people are just skimping by, living week to week. It is times like these that show who people really are.

The business I chose to donate to is Sweets and Meats BBQ. They have award winning smoked meats, homemade sides and desserts. They were established in 2014 on the east side of Cincinnati in Mt. Washington. Family owned and operated. Recognized as Ohio's Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2019. The pandemic hit them pretty hard. They had to close the store and lost nearly $400,000 in revenue last year. From their own words, "Sweets and Meats is more than a restaurant, it is our families legacy ". They did not give up. They changed plans and rolled with the punches. They took catering to a whole new level and found ways to keep afloat. This means some days could turn into nights and nights into mornings. The 9-5 was just a number. The grind of staying afloat is built on passion and ingenuity.

They re-opened in mid-March of 2021 and are aiming toward getting back to some normalcy. We all hope for a little bit of normal to be shown to us. Sometimes its hard to remember what "normal" was because of the way things have been, at least for me that is. Look, enough about the past. Lets look forward and see what is to come. Get down to Mt. Washington OR follow their 2nd operation (food truck) and indulge in some BBQ and cakes! There is one thing that is certain, GOOD FOOD MAKES ANYTHING FEEL BETTER!! Show Kristen an Anton some wuuuuuuuv!

Anton of Sweets and Meats BBQ
*not my photo

Kristen of Sweets and Meats BBQ
*not my photo

We had a few issues finding time to meet up so I just ended up having a virtual sit down for some Q and A. Sweets & Meats is hard on the trail of running a brick and mortar and running a food truck and that mixed with my regular job schedule has not meshed well to say the least. But hey, its 2021 now. We have so many ways of contact. I spoke with Kristen here.

Q1 : What keeps you guys focused and not just throwing in the towel after a year of Covid?

A : Our family business is our legacy. Throwing in the towel has never been an option and was the driving force behind how many times we pivoted in 2020. We had to make a way to survive the pandemic and we dug deep. Our entire team did. Beyond saving our business, it was all about our team. We have a loyal crew and we know we carry a lot of responsibility to ensure their needs are met as well. We are all thriving now and it's been incredible to be part of the journey. Something about working together, in the trenches, changes you.

Q2: Do you think of your BBQ in any certain style? Memphis, KC, NC, etc or is it your own style?

A: Anton has roots in Sylacauga, Alabama and learned the basics of BBQ at his grandfather's knee. What he didn't know, he learned through independent research and by trial & error. We like to think we're a pretty unique blend of everything we like. We call it #CincyBBQ We focus on the entire experience; smoked meats, homemade sides and desserts. I really don't think anyone was doing what we were locally, when we entered the market in 2014.

Q3: As a business in modern times, what do you feel is more important. Community or Marketing? People have short attention spans now days, haha

A: It's always been about community for us. In fact, we were intentional about launching our business in Mt. Washington where I've been a resident my entire life (40 years). We made big sacrifices to stay here as well. I think if you're a good steward of your community, the rest will come. In 7 years, I didn't purchase our first advertisement until this year in 2021. We bootstrapped to start our business and have largely relied on word of mouth advertising. I'm sure we'd benefit from marketing, but we've taken a grass roots approach.

Q4: I have to know. What's up with Sweets.....And....Meats? Did one of you enjoy baking and the other enjoy making BBQ which meshed into a business?

A: Pretty much! We felt it was the best of both worlds. We cater to folks who love smoked meats & those who love their sweets! We felt most BBQ restaurants focused solely on the meat and we knew, from experience, that we enjoyed everything from the process of picking quality meats, preparing them with our rub, smoking them, making sides from scratch and pairing it all with incredible desserts. We wanted it to feel like Thanksgiving every day at Sweets & Meats BBQ and really focus on the full experience. What's interesting is we launched in the parking lot of the Mt. Washington Creamy Whip. A lot of folks thought we chose the name because of that, but it's been intentional ever since our backyard cookouts. Initially the plan was for me (Kristen) to make the desserts & Anton to make the meats. However, after a few months in business and realizing how much responsibility we have, we're so lucky our baker Janee has been making all of our desserts since 2015.

Q5: Last one here. Is there anything you want the people to know? Maybe people who have never been to your business?

A: Absolutely! We're always looking for introductions to new BBQ lovers. Sweets & Meats BBQ is a carry out restaurant, caterer & food truck located in the heart of Mt. Washington at 2249 Beechmont Avenue Cincinnati, Oh 45230.

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-8pm & Sunday 11am-6pm

Online ordering & curbside pick up are available at

We're actively booking catering & events.

Please send inquiries via email at or give us a call at 513-888-4227.

We would love to serve you!


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