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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. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Jane Ann Jarvis

Old Brick Pit Barbecue

Jane Ann Jarvis fell in love with the barbecue business right away. She has operated Old Brick Pit Barbecue, located in Chamblee, Georgia, barely outside the northern city limits of Atlanta, since 2006. Bob Newton, a Georgia Tech graduate who put a lot of thought and care into the design of his L-shaped brick barbecue pit, founded Old Brick Pit in 1976. Jane Ann’s brother, Steve Garner, who also happened to have some experience in the restaurant game, took over the business when Bob died of cancer. Jane Ann began running the business a few years later.

In those days, Jane Ann was ready to change careers, and she became drawn to what she calls “the beauty of the business.” This restaurant is a small, streamlined, and relatively waste-free business that brings a lot of joy to loyal diners. On most days, you’ll find Jane Ann and her team of female employees manning the pit and the kitchen implements in the back. These women have remained true to the simple, focused menu of chopped pork, smoked chicken, and a precious few sides that have been available since the very beginning.

Date of interview:

Ashley Hall

Ashley Hall

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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