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or buy meat by the pound. Side op ons include Brian’s signature beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and chips.


Blazin’ B’s pulled pork nachos are a popular choice for many customers. They have a decidedly “fair food” feel. Brian also has a way with chicken. He marinates a skinless thigh in wing sauce before grilling them to perfec on. And, as one might expect from a good barbecue chef, Brian has his own sauce recipe and blends his own rub seasonings.


If you are fortunate enough to have Blazin’ B’s BBQ near you, you’ll want to catch them between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. during winter months. You’ll have an extra hour to catch them during the summer months, when the opera ng hours extend to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


“The communi es we have been in have shown us great support,” Brian said. “We appreciate all of our customers and want to thank them all.”


Norton has to travel back in  me a bit to recall how much the popular li le drive-In restaurant—it was called Jet Drive- In—was woven into fabric of the small southwestern Kansas town of Hugoton. He said the experience, confi dence and independence he gained while working at the restaurant were big infl uences on his later endeavors. He was just a youngster when he started working the window, fi lling drink orders and cooking for his parents, Ernie and Teresa Norton.


“They started out farming and then had an opportunity to buy that li le drive-in and they did,” Brian recalled. “That was my fi rst introduc on to the food business.”


When Brian’s mother lost her ba le with cancer in 1975, his dad sold the restaurant and moved to northeast Oklahoma. Ernie Norton bought the old Kelly’s Corner store in rural A on, Oklahoma, and ran it with Brian’s help for several years. The gas sta on, bait shop and small restaurant was located at the junc on of Highways 125 and 59. When gas prices spiked in the late 70s and early 80s, Brian said his dad sold off and headed back to western Kansas.


“That’s when gas went from like fi  y-nine cents a gallon to up over a dollar,” he said. “That really hurt the business and hurt tourism, period. So he sold that store and moved back to Kansas and I stayed here and graduated because it was my senior year.”


A er gradua ng from Grove High School in 1981, Brian headed back to Kansas and began a 25-year career working in the oil fi elds. Life then threw him another curve.


“The company I worked for sold and wanted me to move to Texas,” he said. “I declined, so Melisa and I decided to try something new. Since I enjoyed cooking so much, here we are.”


Brian added: “We decided to move back to this area. It puts us closer to both to our kids, who live in the Wichita area, and Melisa’s parents, who live in Grove. Since I also graduated high school here, it just seemed like the right fi t.”


Between the drive-in restaurant back in Hugoton, Kansas, and Kelly’s Corner in A on, Brian knew he had the food and business experience he needed to make the food truck venture work.


“I was raised around the food business, but haven’t done it for years. I’d always barbecued for friends who came out to visit us and go bird-hun ng.”


So in May 2017, the Blazin’ B’s BBQ food truck offi cially opened its doors for business. There was no turning back.


Brian is sure to credit Melisa’s parents, Louis and Judith Caputo, for “helping us out in a big way.” Also “we sure appreciate our kids, Aaron and Mariah Lulf, and Miranda Ramsey and her fi ancé Jeremy Turner, for their help with larger events. We consider this a family opera on.”


For the latest updates on where they’ll have the truck and when, be sure to follow on Facebook at facebook.com/ blazinbsbbq. You can also reach Brian by phone at 620-655- 9891 for more informa on or to inquire about placing larger orders. 


April 2018 - 5


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