Aaron Franklin used to lay in bed dreaming about barbecue.
It was on his mind all the time. He started the legendary Franklin Barbecue, located in East Austin, in 2009 with only 28 cents in the bank, working 120-hour weeks sometimes, he says. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to do things in the world. What it takes is commitment. It takes a big dream. There’s no amount of money in the world that is going to replace that want. You just gotta do it,” Franklin says.
Today, the nationally renowned Franklin BBQ commands daily lines around the block where patrons sometimes begin lining up by 5 am. The restaurant grew from a small trailer off I-35 in 2009 to a brick and mortar location on east 11th street today where even President Barack Obama has made a point of stopping by when he was in town. (He didn't have to wait in line, of course.) In 2015, Aaron Franklin was awarded with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest making him the first barbecue pitmaster to be recognized in any best-chef category in the annual competition considered to be "the Oscars" of the food industry. So, what's the secret to meteoric success in East Austin?
“I would say to EAPrep, the best advice I’ve got is just go for it. Do something that really makes you happy, find something that you want to spend your life on, make a commitment and go for it,” says Franklin. “Don’t let anything get in your way. Don’t let people tell you, you can’t do it. Things will happen when it’s ready to happen.”