Tay Nelson

Fountain Inn, SC | Bobby's BBQ

Tay Nelson grew up in Fountain Inn, SC. He started working at his dad’s restaurant when he was 12 years old, and by the time he was in high school, he was managing lunch service. The restaurant was closed on Sundays, so his family always spent the day cooking together at home. Tay believes food always has a story behind it. And, as he says, “you can’t fuss while you’re eating good food!”

After Tay lost his father, Bobby Sr., in 2008, and his brother, Bobby, Jr., in 2009, he wanted to do something to honor them and keep his family traditions alive. So he created Bobby’s All-Purpose Seasoning, a blend of spices and all-natural ingredients that can be used to season just about anything. Tay wants the seasoning to make it easy for other families to cook together, just like his did. Bobby’s All-Purpose Seasoning currently comes in three flavors: Original, Citrus and BBQ Rub. It’s sold at Whole Food, Lowe’s Foods and even some Ace Hardware stores.

Tay has always enjoyed smoking meat and feeding friends as a hobby. He’s spent the last several years researching and studying Texas-style barbecue, and seeking guidance from some of the greats. He never intended to open a restaurant. But after enough people told him he made some of the best barbecue they’d ever had, he decided to give it a shot. Tay is about to open his first restaurant, Bobby’s BBQ, with his wife, Sarah. It’s currently under construction on Main Street in Fountain Inn (right across from the DMV) and it’s expected to open in September 2018. All of the beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, turkey, house-made sausage and homemade sides will be seasoned with Bobby’s All-Purpose Seasoning blends.

Faith, family and food (in that order!) are the foundation for Tay, Sarah and Bobby’s BBQ. They named their 1000-gallon Moberg smokers Grace & Mercy, to keep them humble and remind them where they came from. Tay and Sarah have five beautiful children who keep them on their toes.