Barbecue has been a way of life for Greg Helwig since the tender age of 14. He spent the next couple of decades working his way up in the industry from dishwasher to management – always dreaming of owning his own barbecue restaurant one day. Also imbued with a powerful sense of community, he pursued a degree in criminal justice and entered the police academy in 2014. He was working as a police officer when he discovered Woody’s Bar-B-Q, and it wasn’t long before he met with company co-founders, Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman and purchased his first franchise – Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Melbourne, FL in 2015. A landmark among locals for nearly two decades, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Holly Hill, FL came on the market in 2018. A devoted fan of the classic Southern barbecue restaurant chain’s local charm and exceptional food, Greg didn’t hesitate to purchase the Holly Hill location. Not only had his dream come true, but he’d managed to enlarge it two-fold by becoming one of Woody’s two multi-unit franchisees.
Making the Most of a Bad Situation
Barely over a year into his ownership of Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Holly Hill and COVID-19 struck. Greg took advantage of the time when his restaurant was open for takeout only. His self-described “rustic” interior underwent a renovation that included all new wood plank flooring throughout the dining rooms and a full remodel of the Holly Hill location’s bathrooms. He also partnered with delivery partners – Door Dash and Grub Hub – to accommodate guests who want to enjoy great barbecue at home, in the office and elsewhere.
Maintaining the Role as a Local Favorite
With Greg at the helm, Woody’s Bar-Q remains a favorite dining destination among locals and visitors to Volusia County. Based on demand of the restaurant’s overall fanbase, the most popular dish on its menu is Woody’s Signature Baby Back Ribs – a personal favorite of the proprietor, as well. The Texas Beef Brisket runs neck and neck, in Greg’s opinion, who believes Woody’s “smokes” the competition when it comes to those two meats.
Greg believes the quality of his staff and the guest experience also differentiates Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Holly Hill from the competition. Truly appreciative of their hard work and dedication on a daily basis, he describes his staff as willing to go above and beyond for their customers, loyal to their team and practically a part of the Helwig family. He credits them with playing a special role in the restaurant’s success, creating an ambiance of Southern Hospitality and delivering the best barbecue in the county to their customers. As for the guest experience, patrons can expect to be greeted the moment they walk through the door and leave happy with a full belly.
“Knowing that I am helping people to enjoy their friends and family over great food is the best part of the job,” said Greg. “With all the stress and uncertainty in the world these days, I am happy to have a part in providing a break from the chaos to the local community and its visitors.”
From Daily Specials to Memorable Events
Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Holly Hill switches up its daily specials regularly, but Greg encourages patrons to visit Sundays for his restaurant’s popular All You Can Eat Bar-B-Q Chicken and Buy One Get One Half Off Pulled Pork Dinners. Kids Eat Free Mondays have also proven a hit with families in the area.
A proud member of the Holly Hill Chamber of Commerce, Greg loves catering events of all sizes. “We’re in an excellent location close to lots of neighborhoods and small businesses in the community. And, because barbecue travels so well – with all the festivities this town holds – Woody’s Bar-B-Q is an easy choice for catering and take-out.”
Just One of the Locals
Greg and his wife, Mandi, have lived in Florida all of their lives. When he’s not in the kitchen or out in the dining room greeting guests at one of his two Atlantic Coast eateries, you can find him attending services at First Baptist Church of Brevard with Mandi and their four-year-old son, Maysen. Greg is excited for Maysen to start Jiujitsu this summer and VPK in the fall.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Holly Hill is located at 1593 North Nova Road. Take-out orders can be called in to 386-253-9920 or placed online through the location’s webpage. To stay up-to-date on the location’s daily specials, Greg and his team invite you to connect with the Holly Hill restaurant’s Facebook page.