Louisville BBQ Restaurant Raises Over $400k for Local Organizations

by Amy Myers

Who knew giving back to the community could taste so good? Thanks to this BBQ restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, local charitable organizations are getting the funds they need to continue their efforts. Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ not only provides quality food to its customers but also helps bring the community a bit closer together.

Since his BBQ restaurant’s opening in 2012, Chad Cooley created the “2% for Louisville” program in which the restaurant implements a 1% surcharge that goes to local charities. He then matches the donation with his own funds—one percent from the customer, one percent from Momma’s. So far, he’s helped six local organizations: The Healing Place, Dare to Care, Olmstead Parks Conservatory, Louisville Sierra Club, Home of the Innocents and Special Olympics of Kentucky.

Spectrum News 1 reported that Momma’s sells hundreds of chicken wings each day. This not only proves the quality of Cooley’s BBQ, but also the willingness of Louisville residents to choose a restaurant that gives back to their community.

In 2021 only, Cooley and his BBQ restaurant raised $39,000. Since 2012, he’s raised approximately $489,000, and he’s happy to contribute as much as he can.

“[These groups] spend the money well that the impact that they have on the community is substantial,” the BBQ restaurant owner said. “It’s important. It’s an honor to support them.”

BBQ Restaurant Owner Draws Inspiration From His Own Mother

Before BBQ restaurant’s owner became a success, Cooley faced some challenges starting his delectable business. Originally, Cooley had a food truck instead of an actual restaurant. But as it turned out, the truck wasn’t in any condition to sell BBQ.

“When we bought the truck, we couldn’t get it working,” he explained. “Took two years to get that thing up to code.”

Thankfully, though, Cooley’s struggles with his portable kitchen worked out in his favor. While waiting for the truck’s repairs, Cooley set up shop in the kitchen of a bar. Eventually, the bar closed down, and the food truck owner became a restaurant owner.

“We had to take it over and so we just kind of accidentally got into this,” Cooley said.

Now, nine years and over $400,000 to charity later, the BBQ restaurant owner says he has his mother to thank for his charitable nature.

“She’s really proud of the program and, you know, that she’s the one that taught me to do things like this,” Cooley shared.

Cooley named the restaurant after his mother’s famous batch of mustard and pickles that they would give to friends and neighbors.

“Our sauce comes from Head Country in my Momma’s home town of Ponca City, Oklahoma,” Cooley’s website reads. “The Mustard and Pickles come from Momma’s love…..and that’s just exactly what we’d like to share with you.”