– We’ve always been barbecue junkies. Being a fan and not being
able to afford it anymore after being laid off is what
got us to the point where if we can’t afford it, then let’s make it. (soft music) My name is Anabel Ramirez,
founder of Ray’s BBQ the one who bosses around Ray (laughter) My name is Rene Alexander Ramirez, but I’m also known as Ray,
and this is Ray’s BBQ. (upbeat music) The first even thinking of Ray’s BBQ started back in December of 2013 where I was posting
pictures on these forums. But it was just for my own consumption. I was on my last two unemployment checks. One of my friends tells
me, from those forums, “Hey Ray, do you sell your stuff?” He’s like “Sell it from your house.” I said I’ll give it a shot. I placed an ad on Facebook. I sold $60. Those $60 turned into $120. And every weekend it was just
three times, four times fold, until we opened up this shop. Since young, I was raised in a kitchen My mom had a small restaurant that’s why I love it so much (upbeat music) My wife tells me “Hey,
so what are you gonna “do with your customers?” We looked at how much
cash we had saved up. My mom told me “Let me help you out with “leasing a restaurant.” And I started, you know, prepping up. But, of course, you run out of money. Towards the end, I decided,
Mother’s Day is coming up, let’s make up some barbecue. We were selling about
$1,000 every 30-40 minutes. We’re doing about 100 racks of ribs. We’re doing about 500
pounds of pulled pork. And we were selling all
that within four hours. It was massive. It was like Tony Montana style. (upbeat music) Deep inside it wasn’t what
my potential could bring out. I was just happy that I
was satisfying the masses and the masses were happy. But I knew that it was just
the tip of the iceberg. It’s not glamorous. (laughing)
That’s for sure. You work a lot more than if you were just a regular employee. I mean, you find yourself
working 16, 17 hours a day. But you know what? I’ll take a nap, and I’ll get over it. (upbeat music) Now I’m enjoying some of the rewards. But for the last three years, it was all money come
in, and money go out. Bye, money. I make mistakes every single day. From those mistakes, I learn
so much that the next time it just gets better. Sometimes you just gotta listen and not let your pride
get involved, just do it. (soft music) Coming over from our first
generation and my mom, you know, taking the effort to
come over in the 1970s, to immigrate to the U.S. was a big step. It was a good one. But, unfortunately, it
takes a toll on you. Our parents were always
working longs hours, long days. Your parents are trying to
make a world for yourself. It makes you stronger,
but at the same time it’s very easy to fall within
the cracks of the bad stuff. Before getting to the United States, we didn’t even have enough money to eat. We had to go get food
stamps for our children because we went through
some really hard times. It’s one of those things. You can’t have everything in life. Somebody has to break ground. I appreciate them for that. I love them for what they are. But then, don’t follow that chain. No money is worth more than your family. Now, having such a successful restaurant it’s a dream come true. One year after I opened
up, we just weren’t happy with the direction we were going. I told my wife and kids, we’re
shutting down the restaurant, and we’re driving to Austin. Austin? What are you gonna do in Austin? I mean, I’m gonna go check
out that famous place people wait in line six hours for. We didn’t even know what brisket was. And then we took the bite and it was just like in those cartoons where you hear the angels. Ahhhhh I take that first bite. My kids and I looked at
each other and we’re like, we gotta learn how to make this. If you don’t know it, figure it out. Now that I’m a restaurant
owner, I wake up in the morning, I watch barbecue videos, along with nightmares in the kitchen. Me and my wife, we learn
not to do those mistakes. We started with the cheapest used machines and that’s how we started growing. We never could have imagined how people would come wait for the sandwiches. (upbeat music) Thanks to social media, we’re bringing in
customers from Hong Kong, we’re getting customers from Australia, from England, from Dubai. I have several customers that
emailed me last week and said “Ray, we’re doing a layover
for 10 hours and we want “to go to your restaurant.” Monday? Can’t, we don’t open. “Okay, we’ll catch you on the way back.” So they don’t give up. Salvadorian, doing Texas-style barbecue, and actually being successful at it? I’m still asking myself the same question. I do have my one night I made specifically for the neighborhood. Which is a meat man burrito. Some people call it a brisket burrito. C’mon, we’re Hispanics, we love burritos. And there’s never been a barbecue burrito. If you’re gonna do something that is not part of your culture, you better do it so damn well, so when people that are from that particular area that
you’re cooking come over, are just blown away. And when Texans come over,
we’ve earned their respect. And they know that we’re Salvadorian.