Small business Monday – Spotlight on Magnolia BBQ & Fish

Birmingham AL
Trésor Bertrand, of Magnolia BBQ & Fish. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Have you been to the National Historic Monument Civil Rights District?  Did you know there are delicious ribs there that folks from all over the world have tasted?  You can have some too, and don’t even have to take a flight to get there!  Dameione Rogers and his sister, Trèsor Bertrand, tell us about their tasty business with a generations-old recipe for ribs!

Dameione Rogers – I am the owner of Magnolia BBQ & Fish at 1709 4th Ave N. I have lived in Birmingham for six years. It’s a family owned business and has been open downtown for five years.  The restaurant is named after our granny, “Mama Magnolia.”

Birmingham AL
Trésor Bertrand waits on customer, Gwen Webb. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

We offer award winning BBQ, including ribs, pulled pork, rib tips and chicken. We also have all of the sides such as cole slaw and potato salad. Ribs are our most popular BBQ. Our desserts, including the cream cheese pound cake are very popular.  Something a little unusual about us is the .99cent BBQ sandwich on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Birmingham AL, business
Magnolia’s famous ribs are so tender, you can eat them with a fork! Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

I am most proud of the ribs because my grandma’s grandfather taught her how to cook the ribs, then passed that knowledge on to me.  Trèsor, Bertrand, Rogers’ sister, adds, She made sure that all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren learned how to cook and barbecue ribs.  That was a really old-fashioned operation, with a pot sitting on the wood at the outpost.  When she cooked, everybody cooked.

Birmingham AL
Michelle Miree, serving up the goodness. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

I love downtown and the historic business district where we’re located!  I’m so excited about the designation of the National Historic Civil Rights Monument for our business district!

Birmingham AL
A variety of table top games available to customers. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Trésor Bertrand -Magnolia BBQ & Fish started in Tupelo, Mississippi.  When they had the opportunity, they moved the business to Birmingham.

Birmingham AL
A happy take-out customer! Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

I come to the restaurant and meet and help other people.  I’m a people person and I love to talk.  We have a lot of customers from overseas, like Germany, Australia and even Japan!   I hear their accent and ask them where they are from.   They hear my Louisiana accent and ask me where I’m from.  When I tell them New Orleans, Louisiana, they get excited and tell me they have heard of and love that city.  I love culture.  I love languages and meeting new people!

Birmingham AL
Celebrity portraits by the family’s cousin, Mark G. cover the walls. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now.

We also do catering.  We did the UAB football opener at Legion Field.  There were so many people!  We will be catering for the Samford student government association for homecoming.  And we also deliver!  The majority of our deliveries are to  Children’s Hospital, Regions, Alabama Power, and the UAB student dorms.  Even the football team comes to get their protein from us with our pulled pork sandwiches!

Birmingham AL
Michelle Miree and the famous ribs. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

We are in some travel magazines, so tourists read about where to go eat good barbecue.  Google, Groupon and Yelp are the basic media we use.  I Push features restaurants and things going on in Birmingham and we advertise with them.  I can see the difference since Obama signed the declaration of the civil rights monument. It is getting more people into the area, bringing more tourists.   Now people are coming in busloads.   When folks want to be referred to the Best Rated BBQ on Yelp, that’s us!   We are in a good location.  What is it they say about business?  Location, location, location!   My brother is trying to expand inside the building for more seating.  We added some seating on the sidewalk for folks to have a nice spot to eat outdoors.

Magnolia’s is about family and fun and coming to eat in a pleasant atmosphere.


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Kristina O'Quinn
Kristina O'Quinn
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