A place to meet ... but mostly eat

Zach Wilkinson/Daily NewsMiss Huddy’s Barbecue owners Molly Schotzko, left, her daughter Hudson, 4, and husband Tim, pose for a picture inside their food cart last week in Pullman. Miss Huddy’s Barbecue is named after Hudson, who said her favorite menu item is the brisket.

In the minds of Pullman residents Molly and Tim Schotzko, few things bridge divides and bring people together better than barbecue.

“It’s a community thing,” Tim Schotzko said. “It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are, you’re there to eat barbecue. You got that in common.”

The community came together in a big way when the Schotzkos first started selling their Texas-style barbecue out of their food cart in the parking lot north of Dissmore’s.

The owners of Miss Huddy’s Barbecue had a soft opening Dec. 31 without any advertising outside of Instagram posts. They did not expect many people to show.

They were quickly proven wrong.

“We walk out and there were 120 people waiting,” Tim Schotzko said.

At their second event, a line of people began forming 50 minutes before Miss Huddy’s Barbecue opened, Tim Schotzko said. At the next event, people arrived an hour and a half before.

The Schotzkos wanted to bring this type of barbecue to Pullman ever since they tried it for the first time in 2015.

During a trip to Austin, Texas, with friends, they visited a barbecue establishment and tasted the best bite of meat they ever had.

“That was like the real first experience with high-quality barbecue,” TimSchotzko said.

Tim Schotzko, who is the shop teacher at Pullman High School, built barbecue pits and they started cooking.

Their food became popular among their friends and others. They saw there was demand for this type of cooking locally, so they decided to create Miss Huddy’s Barbecue.

In the evenings leading up to the weekends Miss Huddy’s Barbecue is open, the Schotzkos work long hours prepping the special-order meat.

Tim Schotzko said Texas-style barbecue involves a minimal amount of ingredients. He said the flavor of the meat should stand alone without sauce, and it attains that flavor and its tenderness through a long cooking process. Molly Schotzko said it takes them 30 hours to cook the meat before Miss Huddy’s Barbecue opens.

It’s hard work, and the Schotzkos have to find time between Tim’s teaching job at PHS and Molly’s teaching job at Washington state University. When Miss Huddy’s Barbecue is open, they are hustling to feed the long lines of people, and have dialed down the wait time to five minutes per person, Molly Schotzko said.

Despite how exhausting it may be, Molly Schotzko said they have fun doing it. Furthermore, they have fun seeing their customers enjoy the experience, especially during a pandemic that has been hard on people.

“It’s really great to bring joy through food and to see people outdoors feeling safe and interacting,” Molly Schotzko said.

She said they put down markers to encourage people to be socially distant while in line.

They named Miss Huddy’s after their 4-year-old daughter, Hudson, who is their motivation for working hard, Molly Schotzko said. Hudson’s favorite menu items are the brisket and pork ribs.

The Schotzkos also value the Pullman community and are dedicated to doing what they can to support its residents and businesses.

“We believe in Pullman and we believe in the people that live here,” Molly Schotzko said.

The Miss Huddy’s Barbecue food cart will be open 11 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot north of Dissmore’s. Information can be found at misshuddysbarbecue.com.

Anthony Kuipers can be reached at akuipers@dnews.com.

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