FARMINGTON — Looking back at the last 25 years, Jimmy Evans, the owner of Spare Rib BBQ Co., says, "it seems like just yesterday we were first getting the ingredients for our barbecue sauce."
The family-owned Farmington business started in 1989, when Evans and his parents launched the restaurant in a 450-square-foot building in a strip mall.
Before opening the restaurant, Evans previously worked in the oil business, but he eventually left that profession and moved to Farmington, where he had family. Here, he started up the restaurant, and two years later, the family moved the business to its current location at 1700 E. Main St.
Now, after 25 years, Evans said the family wants to share its recipe for success with the community. He said the barbecue restaurant has been successful because it provides delicious food and good service, and also because "the good Lord has blessed us for 25 years."
Over the last quarter of a century, the family expanded the business to include restaurants in Bloomfield and near Colorado's Vallecito Lake. About a decade ago, those restaurants closed after Evans' mother died of cancer.
Evans said the family downsized to run the restaurant the way his mother would have wanted.
"She was really good at it," said Carrie West, Evans' daughter. "It's really hard for us."
One day about 23 years ago, a man came to the restaurant with a fiberglass cow in the back of his truck he was trying to sell. The family purchased it and placed it on top of the Farmington restaurant's roof.
"It's kind of been a Farmington landmark," Evans said.
He said customers take photos of it, talk about it and even ride it. The business recently purchased a chicken to join the cow on the roof.
Aside from the cow on its roof, the restaurant is really known for its barbecue sauce.
"We have people who really like it," Evans said. "Some want to drink it."
The food and service has kept people coming back to the restaurant for years. West said some customers eat at the restaurant three times a week.
"Some we even know what they want before they get here," Evans added.