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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Robert Craig


Robert Craig is carrying on the tradition that was started by his father, Lawrence Craig, a former cook on a Mississippi River boat, and his uncle Wes. The Craigs opened Craig Brothers Café in the segregated South of 1947. Three generations have supplied many satisfied customers with a variety of smoked meats, most notably smoked and sliced pork sandwiches slathered with a sauce made with hints of apple and bell pepper. Their signature sauce was developed over the kitchen table of the Craig family home.

Robert began helping with the business—actually cooking—from the age of three or four. Eventually, he went to college, but in 1997, Robert accompanied his father to the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, where Lawrence Craig’s barbecue was being celebrated as a celebrated Delta tradition. Today, Robert oversees the operation of Craig’s in partnership with his cousin, as well as long-time family friends, the Sirats. Robert’s daughter, Jasmire, has expressed interest in carrying on the family’s barbecue tradition.

Date of interview:
2010-08-01 00:00

Interviewer:
Rachel Reynolds Luster

Photographer:
Rachel Reynolds Luster

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