Roy May has led a varied life — active duty soldier, Aggie Yell Leader and now barbecue pitmaster.
May, Class of 2015 and Aggie Yell Leader from 2013-2015, has ventured into the world of small businesses to start his own catering company. May’s company, GoodBull BBQ, hopes to bring smoked brisket, roasted chicken and other barbecue menu items to events across the Bryan-College Station area.
May said a barbecue company has been a long-time dream of his, and he takes pride in the fact the company is completely Aggie-owned and operated — down to the investors.
“I’ve always had a dream to open up a barbecue restaurant,” May said. “I’ve got a good amount of experience in the food industry, so I always knew I could make it work if the timing was right.”
May acts as general manager and pitmaster for his company for the time being and said he enjoys working with other Aggies.
“Working with them is exactly what you would expect if you had the opportunity to work with a group of Ags,” May said. “They’re hard working, passionate and focused on any way they can give back. I don’t think there’s a better group of well-rounded Ags.”
May said he began making connections with his investors through the Aggie Network.
“My investors include a former RV Commander, former Red Pot, former Yell Leader, former Greek executive and former member of SGA,” May said.
So far, GoodBull BBQ has catered a single event — a 1K taco fun-run near Lake Bryan put on by a good group of friends. The company hopes to boost its name recognition in the coming weeks.
“Well, Roy actually reached out to us to find out what company we were planning to cater, and there were actually a couple of places around town,” said Mason Flannery, Class of 2015 and event coordinator. “He told us about his new restaurant starting, and we were also looking for a competitive bid just to save money and run it as efficiently as we could.”
The students who hosted the event said they worked closely with May to set up a menu that was right for their event.
“Roy provided some brisket tacos with eggs and some grilled peppers and onions, kind of a special sautée that he made, and his homemade barbecue sauce,” Flanner said.
Hogan Sullins, Class of 2016 and one of the attendees at the fun run, said May’s food was a hit.
“Everybody I talked to there would not stop talking about how good the food was,” Sullins said.
May said he has been communicating with several different groups — including the Aggie Shields — on future catering opportunities.
“They’re a student organization that raises money for a textbook-lending library for student veterans, so that’s something that’s definitely close to my heart,” May said. “We are also speaking with a couple of other student organizations and speaking with some businesses around town on possible events. I don’t want to confirm anything just yet, but things have certainly picked up faster than I could have ever imagined.”
May said the business is growing so fast he cannot run it on his own. He gets help from his wife and from his friend Brian Wright, Class of 2014.
May said Wright is his “main employee and right-hand man.”
“Anyone can smoke a brisket or a chicken, but he really extended that next level of knowledge to me,” May said. “Not only does he know his way around a smoke pit, he builds them in this spare time.”
May said brisket is the staple menu item for GoodBull BBQ, and he feels he has perfected his recipe.
“To say I’ve smoked a lot of briskets in the last year would be like saying we added a few small things to Kyle Field since last year,” May said laughing. “We smoke chicken and ribs as well, and we’re thrilled with our sides, which we rotate and are always looking to add or change. However, don’t look past the barbecue sauce. We carry a couple of old family recipes passed down to us that are absolutely lights out.”
May said GoodBull BBQ hopes to serve the Bryan-College Station community in a way that gives back and makes his company a special part of Aggieland.
“In the next five to 10 years, I hope to see GoodBull as a destination location in College Station,” May said. “The kind of place that if you’re going to College Station, make sure you grab lunch or dinner at GoodBull. More than anything though, I just want to have an established barbecue restaurant that is successful enough to significantly give back to the community.”
Catering is the main focus right now, May said, until he can find a permanent location. May said he and his team hope to have a restaurant open by spring 2016.
“We currently don’t have a permanent location but we are definitely looking for one,” May said. “As soon as a physical location is found, you can bet I’ll be advertising it as best I can and as loud as I can.”