There is an affable and goal oriented local man who is striving to put Fulks Run on the map again! The town is already known for its famous Turner Ham, but Richard Turner hopes to make Fulks Run also known for its pork barbeque!
There are many types and flavors of barbeque in the surrounding area, but Richard’s Fat Boyz is original and unlike any of the others.
With recipes he has developed himself through trial and error, Richard has quite a following in all the places his pop-up goes.
Richard Turner retired with 22 years in the poultry business under his belt. After leaving the poultry business, he still works parttime as a residential/commercial plumber with Shenandoah Valley Plumbing. Little by little, he hopes to jump into his BBQ business full time. The business has some prime roadside locations, as well as occasionally setting up where he lives.
Through social media, he advertises where he will be, and parks his food trailer. Along with the hours he will be at a certain location, he also adds “or until we run out”. And, “run out” they do most times, so it’s best to get there early if you don’t want to miss out on some delicious food!
After the poultry business, a 9 month stint working at Dan’s Steakhouse in Luray, was a positive learning experience. The chef there was culinary trained, working for many years in the restaurant business, but didn’t know much about making barbeque. The chef and Richard learned from each other. Having never cooked in a commercial setting, Richard said he learned a lot from the experience. “The chef showed me the ropes of an indoor kitchen, and I showed him the ropes of barbeque. He could cook a steak like no tomorrow, but didn’t have a clue how to smoke a rack of ribs.” Working there was mutually beneficial.
The pork is cooked over 75% hickory and 25 % oak mix woods, with wood sourced from Stanley Payne of Fulks Run. Richard’s dad, Darrel, splits the wood, his mom, fiancé, and kids, help in the food truck.
The original recipe Sundae BarBQ debuted at the Bergton Fair, and was a success. Perfect fair food – in a cup, easy carry, and they sold 200. Comments ran the gamut- no one had seen a complete meal in a cup before, but once people tasted it, they were sold. Since March of last year, Richard estimates 700-800 Sundae BarBQ cups have been sold!
The 700 pounds of pork made for all the dishes on the menu at the Bergton Fair sold out in 2 nights. Next year at the fair, Fat Boyz will double that amount.
Richard says “My barbeque doesn’t come in a tub, and I don’t heat it up in the microwave, and when I am out, I’m out! It takes me 20 hours to get more made.”
Along with BBQ, Turner has developed his popular rub recipe and sauce, again through trial and error. He has had offers to buy his recipe, but prefers to keep it as his own. Starting with 10 different versions of the rub, it was finally narrowed down to one he was happy with. When asked how he comes up with it, the running joke is “if you look in my trash can, you’d understand why!” Same with the sauce – starts with a base, until he gets it where he wants it. At first, all his ingredients were in his head, but then his fiancé, Tracey, said he’d better start writing some of this down. He’s got a whole folder with all his written recipes, which only he can decipher!
Richard has wanted to enter competitions, but it costs money and time to enter. Winning would really put Fulks Run on the map for barbeque, which is his dream. Another goal down the road, is to get his rubs and sauces commercially made. For now, he does it himself for the food he sells.
Fat Boyz is a family affair. His parents, Joyce and Darrel Turner, his fiancé, Tracey Miller, and their kids, work with him. At any given time, you may see one or all the family members helping out, serving and running the register.
Business has really picked up in the last 6 months, and Fat Boyz has 20 events booked through December. Recently, Richard learned that Fat Boyz will be running and managing the concession stand in Broadway for the 2023 season- weekend travel tournaments, all star tournaments, going into fall Little Leagueseason. As he posted on Facebook, “We are more than excited to able to bring you some of the OG ball field food and snack along with a twist to the menu.” Open to the public, even if you don’t have a child in Little League!
See the Fat Boyz BBQ & More ad here in the Chronicle for contact information. You can follow them on Facebook, and keep up where the food truck will be next. As Richard says with his food photos – “What you see, is what you get.” And, it’s all delicious!