Photos by Nolan Schmidt
The Piggy BBQ was founded in 2012 by Steve and Cathy Blake. Steve Blake started The Piggy BBQ in Walker, MM as a hobby and it quickly grew to be a favorite for locals as well as visitors to the area. The business began to grow to a level higher than he was ready for, so, he decided to hang up his hat, retire and sold the business to Amie Ysteboe Hopper, Steve Hopper and Kim Hoffman on January 1, 2016.
The business began flourishing under new ownership that kept all of his great techniques and expanded on them by integrating a full liquor license, expanding the seating and offering catering. After a few years as a northern Minnesota favorite, The Piggy BBQ opened a second location in West Fargo on May 7, 2020.
Q&A With Owner Amie Ysteboe Hopper
Why expand to the location in West Fargo?
As we quickly outgrew the quaint Walker location, we knew we needed to expand our brand. Being in the heart of lake country, we had a strongly tourist-driven seasonal business and we were looking for an opportunity to grow and expand in a larger market. One thing led to another and we knew the moment we walked into our current building in West Fargo, amongst the dirt floors and exposed beams, that this was the spot.
What can the Piggy BBQ offer FM residents that no other restaurant can?
We smoke only the highest quality meats daily. Everything (except the Burnt Ends) is dry-rubbed and served with our sweet and savory house sauce on the side. We’ve created a rustic/industrial atmosphere that will welcome you whether you are dining in or taking out. Large party catering is available.
What are your specialties?
BBQ! That’s all we do. We also have a pretty fabulous specialty drink menu as well as the largest bourbon wall in North Dakota!
What business advice do you have for other small businesses in the area?
Stay true to your product and your brand. Treat every customer like a guest in your home and your employees like they are family.
Are there any books you recommend people in the business community read?