By Jeremy Wallace
TIPP CITY — Hickory River Smokehouse has won the 2014 Grand Champion Pulled Pork contest at the Ohio State Fair.
This marks the fifth time they have walked away from the competition with a first place prize. Restaurant staff were winners in 2008, 09, 10 and 11. In 2012, they were awarded Reserve Rib Champions of the Ohio State Fair.
The Ohio State Fair is the largest competition Hickory River Smokehouse enters. They also attend other competitions in the Miami Valley area like the Taste of the Miami Valley and participate in the Troy Strawberry Festival.
Their secret sauce and rub is kept under lock and key with only a select few people knowing the ingredients. They serve this signature sauce in their restaurant. Every cut of meat like pulled pork, beef brisket, pork shoulder, turkey breast, pork loin and on-the-bone chicken is hand-rubbed with the signature spice blend.
“The rub is a big part of our taste. We also use large smokers with only hickory wood that gives it a nice flavor and then we top it off with our signature barbecue sauce,” said Dan Davis, owner of Hickory River Smokehouse in Tipp City.
Brad Bowman, founder, opened the original Hickory River Smokehouse in 1988 and his business has grown to include multiple locations. Illinois has restaurants in Decatur, Glendale Heights, Peoria, Urbana and two in Springfield. One location in Ohio located in Tipp City and the newest location in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
“Brad Bowman is my uncle and that helped me decide I wanted to get into this business. When the opportunity jumped at me, I decided to go with it and it’s been a great experience since then,” Davis said.
“I just want to thank the community for their support, everyone has been phenomenal and I hope they keep coming back,” Davis said.
Hickory River Smokehouse is located at 135 S. Garber Drive, Tipp City.
Jeremy Wallace can be reached at (937) 552-2199 or follow him on Twitter @TroyDailyNews