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A Brief History of Doughtie's Barbecue

Robert F. Doughtie, founder of the now-famous Doughtie's Barbecue, began his career in the food service business in 1952. Motivated by the desire to create a better-tasting barbecue, he processed and packaged his own secret recipe from an old Quonset hut located on Eighth Avenue in Portsmouth, Virginia. A true family operation, Mr. Doughtie was assisted in the daily packaging process by hard-working family members so he could then take to the road selling the finished product.

Over the next 10 years, Doughtie's experienced great change with the purchase of Portsmouth Frozen Foods and the construction of a new facility located on Wesley Street in Portsmouth. In 1963, Doughtie's, the family-owned business, grew to become a corporation.During the years from 1964 through 1982, Doughtie's Foods, Inc., expanded its sales division, selling over 7 million pounds of barbecue through its manufacturing division. In the midst of this expansion, Mr. Doughtie was recognized as Virginia's Small Businessman of the Year in 1972. He took great pride in caring for his customers and believed that only a company that worked to achieve customer loyalty would survive and be successful.

In the 1980's, the company expanded its facilities, product offerings, and customer base to become a top 50 broadline distributor. In 1997, the manufacturing division of Doughtie's Foods, Inc., was sold so as to focus solely on food service distribution. In May 1999, the board of directors of Doughtie's Foods, Inc., agreed to sell the company to Sysco Corporation. The merger was completed on August 27, 1999.

In 2011, Bob Doughtie's family retained the trademark and reintroduced the brand to the Southeastern Virginia and Coastal North Carolina communities. The barbecue, produced by Brookwood Farms, retains it's original vinegar recipe and outstanding flavor.

Want to serve Doughtie's Classic Barbecue in your restaurant? Send us a message in our "Contact Us" section of this website.

History from company press information.

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