Paul, shown above, with his mother Thelma and his fiancé Tonya, picks out a brisket to make on the smoker and serve for a quiet dinner party at home with family and friends

Q. How long have been shopping at Ranch Foods Direct?
“For the last 8 or 9 years. I come here to get briskets, ribs, seasonings and things like that. I’ve really gotten into smoking meat since I came to the Springs.”

Q. What keeps you coming back?
“I like the prices here! I can’t go anywhere and get a brisket that’s 5 or 6 pounds for less than 50 bucks! If you go to Walmart and get this size of brisket, it will cost you more than that. Plus the quality of the meat is so good, and the fact that if I come in here, go to the shelf and it’s empty, I’ll just go to the back of the store and ask about it and they’ll say, ‘how big do you want it,’ and they’ll cut it for me right on the spot. I’ve done that several times, and it works great.”

Q. Any favorite condiments you like to have with your barbecue?
“To do it right, I generally make my own barbecue sauce. Depending on what’s in season, I might make a peach sauce or maybe raspberry. Basically you just cook the fruit down and blend it until it’s nice and smooth.”