Rich Cosgrove / Whole Hog Cafe NLR

At an early age, Rich Cosgrove became fascinated with the ancient technology of the preservation of meat through smoking, curing and drying. This led to the formation of a World-Championship Barbecue team with his three brothers over 30 years ago.

With a background in Engineering and Sales, Cosgrove and his wife, Nancy, opened the Whole Hog Café in North Little Rock in July of 2007. Cosgrove still says: “It’s a hobby that got out of hand.” Within seven years, Whole Hog NLR had become the 13th overall Restaurant by Sales Volume in the trade area, the only non-national chain in the top 30, the most successful Whole Hog Café in the U.S. and the largest Barbecue Restaurant in the State – cooking an average of 3 ½ tons of meat per week.

“Here’s how Nancy and I divide business responsibilities: She’s Vision; I’m merely Execution.” My mottos are ‘Maniacal attention to detail,’ and ‘Enchantment served Daily.’ Everyone has good food and good service, or they don’t stay in this business. To set yourself apart you have to bring the pixie dust – the Enchantment factor.”

Two years ago, Rich and Nancy sold the business to local businessman, Daniel Bryant, his brother Tim and their partners. Says Cosgrove: “I was nine years into my five year business plan.” Nancy and Rich maintain a minor financial interest and Tim and Rich run the business. They also help their partners with the 14 other restaurants that they own.

Originally from West Memphis, Cosgrove studied Philosophy at Hendrix and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1980 with a degree in Business. His non-Barbecue hobbies include: Cycling, Fitness & Nutrition, Backpacking, Canoeing, Hiking, Fishing, and Mountain Biking. He is also a Professional Musician and Entertainer.

 

 

Rich Jensen BRS Consulting
(Co-Host)

David Sims / BRS Consulting
(Co-Host)

Rich Cosgrove / Whole Hog Cafe NLR
(Guest)

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