For as long as they can remember, Tucker and Colin Ray have wanted to start their own business.
The brothers grew up working for their Grandfather in his furniture and floor covering business located in Hamilton, NY. There they saw the great impact a small business can have on the community it belongs to, and how that community can rise up and support the small business in return.
Tucker and Colin attribute their passion for food to their upbringing in an Italian household, where comfort food was the norm. As they grew to working age, they both decided to pursue jobs in the restaurant industry.
Throughout the years they have worked for a variety of businesses, from small family owned businesses to big corporate style restaurants and bars. They enjoyed their jobs, but the brothers knew that they had much more to offer. So, in 2014, Tucker and Colin Ray opened Ray Brothers BBQ in Hamilton, NY.
Business immediately boomed. Not even one full year in business and the Ray brothers staff expanded from 17 to 25 employees. With further growth on their minds, Tucker and Colin checked local resources to make sure that they were fully aware of every service available to them. Their search lead them to the Onondaga SBDC where they started working with Business Advisor Melissa Zomro Davis in 2016.
Melissa used the NYS SBDC research network for market research, helping the Ray brothers to create and develop a detailed business plan with cash flow projections. She also introduced them to local and state economic development organizations that have assisted them with the expansion of their business.
Though local resources can help a business on the path to success, Colin and Tucker Ray are the dedicated owners and leaders who have created a sustainable, community committed business.
Ray Brothers BBQ takes pride in helping their community by using as many local products as possible. To this day, 100% of their food is prepared fresh, onsite. But Ray Brothers BBQ serves up more than just great food.
Tucker and Colin Ray have provided their rural community with a gathering place that includes a full service restaurant, bar, and an outdoor music venue. Their sound stage hosts a variety of events from open mic nights to entire Music Festivals (like their annual Fall Hop Harvest Smoke Out Music Festival).
Warmer weather is finally on its way to Central New York, so when you get out be sure to visit the total experience that is Ray Brothers BBQ!
Onondaga Small Business Development Center. Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.