Business Spotlight

In the quaint corners of Berkeley County, where the spirit of community burns as warmly as a well-stoked fire, three friends embarked on a culinary adventure that blossomed into the beloved Oakwood Barbecue Company. What began as a simple celebration for a 30th birthday with a homemade smoker, has grown into a thriving business fueled by passion, community support, and the irresistible allure of authentic barbecue.

The Roots of Oakwood BBQ

Cody Sheppard, JC Henson, and Zach Walburn shared more than friendship; they shared an unwavering enthusiasm for great food and community gatherings. This trio of barbecue aficionados quickly realized that their weekend hobby of smoking meats could be something more. “We built the smoker for Cody’s 30th birthday and it kind of blossomed from there,” Zack reflects. “We figured we had the smoker, we had the willpower, so let’s turn it into a business.”

Now, you may be wondering about the story behind the name. The name itself is deeply rooted in the heritage of Cody’s family farm, Oakwood Farms, nestled in the north end of Berkeley County. For generations, Oakwood Farms flourished as a thriving cattle farm, where Black Angus herds roamed. Interestingly enough, it was also the very place where Cody launched his model rockets for the science fair projects that played a significant role in his friendship with Zack when they met at Hedgesville Middle School. This is why their logo features a rocket on a pig—paying homage to their beginnings. Furthermore, it is fitting that the ultimate and final culinary destination of The Oakwood BBQ Company will find its home on this familial farm, honoring its namesake with every dish served.

A Community-Centered Approach

Oakwood BBQ is not your typical restaurant. It is a place where hard work meets heart. The team spends countless hours preparing each event, juggling their full-time jobs with their passion for barbecue. “We’re only open two Sundays a month,” explains JC, emphasizing the effort that goes into each smoking session. “The week leading up to that, we prep each night, making all the sauces and sides” says Cody.

Their commitment extends beyond the smoker. Oakwood BBQ is deeply involved in the local community, from planting trees with neighbors to supporting local fundraisers. “Having such a loyal following makes a lot of things worth it,” says JC. This connection to their community is not just about business—it’s about building relationships and enhancing the place they call home.

Expansion and Innovation

Looking forward, Oakwood BBQ has exciting plans to expand their current physical space and their menu. A new roof and a patio area are on the horizon, along with the introduction of Smashie Saturdays. “It’s going to be a super limited menu, but it’s going to be like Smashburger Saturdays—stuff like that, fried chicken sandwiches,” Cody shares with enthusiasm.

Ultimately, the Oakwood team’s goal is to build the first Culinary Destination in the area. They are the fortunate owners of over five acres of prime land nestled within the picturesque area of Spring Mills, WV. This flat, expansive field is surrounded by lush forests and conveniently situated within walking distance of hundreds of newly built homes and townhouses. Additionally, the property is also less than two miles away from Amani Brewing, a popular local attraction, and a mere three miles from Interstate 81. Furthermore, the location carries historical significance as it is part of the former Oakwood Farms – the very inspiration behind the name, The Oakwood BBQ Company, as mentioned above.

For any investors or folks that would like to be a part of the project, please reach out via

Why Berkeley County?

For these entrepreneurs, Berkeley County is more than just a location; it’s a source of inspiration and support. “Berkeley County’s home to me because it really has everything that I would ever need in my life,” Zack states. The county’s rich resources, supportive community, and thriving small business environment make it an ideal place for ventures like Oakwood BBQ.

A Recipe for Success

Oakwood Barbecue Company exemplifies what it means to turn a passion into a profession. Through their dedication to quality, community, and innovation, they’ve created more than just a place to eat; they’ve crafted an experience that keeps their customers coming back for more. In the heart of Berkeley County, Oakwood BBQ is a testament to the flavor and spirit of the community, proving that sometimes, the best business ingredients are friendship, dedication, and a good old-fashioned barbecue.

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