families have their traditional roadside stops, the shops or restaurants
that mark their vacations, year after year. And for many people, a trip
down I-65 just wouldn’t be complete without taking Exit 128 in
Greenville to visit The Smokehouse.
known from here to Canada," says owner Margaret Poole, "and from
one coast to another. Being right off the interstate brings in customers
from all over, and we’ve gotten to be a part of a lot of people’s
is a native of Birmingham who moved to Greenville in 1980 when her husband’s
construction job took him to the Camellia City.
worked for the company that built the hospital in Greenville and we just
fell in love with the community. We wanted to stay in the area and began
to look for a business to buy. We were able to buy The Smokehouse in 1981
and we opened on June 15 of that year. We started with a staff of four, my
husband and myself and two employees," she says.
25 years later, Margaret says she’s put down roots in Greenville.
"This is home. I love Greenville. It’s a friendly, pretty town, and
the people here have sure been good to me."
lost her husband in 1988, but she says her employees have been like family
to her. "Good workers are hard to find, and I couldn’t have kept
the business going without them. I know I have to take care of them, and I’ve
tried to do that because they have been so much help to me," she
says they have an extensive menu at The Smokehouse with huge biscuits for
breakfast, ribeye steaks Friday and Saturday nights, and weekly blue-plate
special lunches in addition to all their barbecue offerings. She also has
a meat market and a gift shop featuring jellies, jams and syrups.
says several women from her family and her husband’s family influenced
her love of cooking. "My mother-in-law and my husband’s grandmother
were both a big help after I got married, and of course I learned from my
mother, too. But I had an aunt who also taught me a lot and was a good
cook. The family always said I cooked like her because it only took 30
minutes for us to have a meal on the table."
is the mother of two and grandmother of six, and she is anxiously awaiting
the birth of her first great-granddaughter in early December.
can’t wait for her to get here," Margaret says.
the meantime, she is staying busy with her Smokehouse family. "We
have regular customers who’ve been coming here since we opened and new
faces every day. We try to have something for all of them, and feeding
people is a good feeling," she says.
like the dishes she serves at The Smokehouse, Margaret offers a wide
variety of recipes this month, including some dishes perfect for holiday
get-togethers. While she won’t give away all her secrets, she also
shares Smokehouse Coleslaw and her recipe for a restaurant-sized batch of
cocktail sauce. And with Shrimp & Rice, Quick & Easy and her
simple Mandarin Orange Pie, you could have your family’s supper to the
table in no time.