Image placeholder

Who Are We?

We're a family run Texas Style barbeque restaurant bringing big flavor to a small town. Our meats are smoked right here daily bringing you the freshest food served with the biggest smiles.

There's more to the story than that, click below to get the scoop.

Learn More

Just To Make Your Mouth Water

Published in Strait Up Magazine 2018 By Justine Gonzalez-Berg

The Rest Of The Story

You always know Heather and Mike are at an event before you see them, for that sweet trail of barbecue on the breeze. Neither of them had a background in the food industry or small business when they started Mo-Chilli BBQ , but their delicious menu has become a staple at events around the Quimper Peninsula.

After both working at Progressive Insurance in North Austin for many years, “we decided it was time to stop working our butts off for someone else and start working our butts off for ourselves and our family,” Heather said. “Mike had been barbecuing out of the backyard for years, and at the pit he was always relaxed and having fun. So we just kind of threw the dice.” In 2015 the family sold everything in Texas and moved to Port Townsend, where Heather grew up, and they started Mo Chilli BBQ.

Mike came up with the name at his first barbecue cook-off in Texas. “See, in the Marine Corps, everyone just went by nickname... and my kids’ nicknames are 'Mo’ and ‘Chilli’. ‘Mo’ for Morgan, 13 and ‘Chilli’ for Bryce, 11. “Whenever my dad would tickle Bryce,” Mike explained, “he would try to say ‘big silly’ but it would come out big chilli.” Then in the neighborhood Bryce would poke you in the stomach and say, ‘big chilly . Well a lot all of our neighbors were Mexican so they thought he was saying ‘chili’. Pretty soon when Bryce walked up, with a ball cap and a belly hanging out everyone would call, ‘hey there’s Big Chilli’.

The food truck was a major investment. “We said, ‘if we fail, we don’t want to have an excuse’ so we had a state of the art trailer built in Jacksonville Florida,” Mike said. “I drove my pit out there so they could build it on… Then I drove the whole thing to Port Townsend!“

And honestly, they haven’t looked back. “It’s easier here to focus on spending time together and enjoying where you live” Heather said. “Which is not to say it’s easy living here - you have to work hard - but there’s something special about it.”

When we were deciding about ‘the move’, Mike added, “Heather‘s dad, Jim Ewing, told us: ‘I can’t tell you what to do or not to do, but I can tell you this: when you get to the end of your life you can have one or two conversations: ‘remember when we thought about or remember when we did.’

Many, many events and catering events, in the food truck and years later even throughout Coivd-19...We moved into our current brick and mortar location in March 2022. We ran the food truck on location during 2021 while we renovated and added a full kitchen to the building.