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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.


Leroy "Spooney" Kenter

Leroy Kenter, Jr., better known as “Spooney,” started cooking barbecue in Kansas City, Kansas. When he returned home to his native Greenwood, he knew he wanted to have his own place and make a name for his personal brand of ‘cue and sauce. He started out with a smoker in his mother’s yard. In 1996 he moved his business to a narrow storefront on Johnson Street in downtown Greenwood, just across from the old Columbus and Greenville Railway Depot.

In 2008 the Downtown Greenwood Farmers Market set up shop in the parking lot adjacent to the old railway depot. A representative of the Market invited Spooney to become a vendor. Every Saturday morning, he would haul his smoker across the street, get that smoke billowing, put some meat on the grill, and wait for people to buy him out.

In 2009 Spooney decided to downsize, closed his restaurant, and dragged his smoker back to the old neighborhood and set it in front of his house in Greenwood’s historic Baptist Town. Spooney still makes himself available for special events, loyal customers who call ahead, and, of course, the Farmers’ Market.

Every Saturday, Spooney holds court at the Downtown Greenwood Farmers’ Market. He loves having a place where he can receive his public again.

Date of interview:
2011-09-09 00:00

Amy C. Evans

Amy C. Evans

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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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