Bushwick’s ‘Alabama Joe’ turned love of barbecue into making and selling grills
Joe Hudson, known as “Alabama Joe,” can be found almost every day on a lot at the corner of De Sales Place and Broadway in Bushwick, making and selling his own home-built charcoal barbecue grills.
Hudson, who came here from Alabama in 1977, retired as executive vice president of a trucking company in Brooklyn in 1997, according to Bushwick Daily. He then spent much of his free time grilling slow-smoked ribs and chicken, but he couldn’t find a grill that kept the charcoal far away enough from the meat. When someone told him there was no way he could make a grill from scratch, Hudson resolved to meet the challenge.
He bought a used welding machine and used welding techniques he learned in high school to make a grill out of an old oil can. The grill was a hit, and he started making them for neighbors, friends and others, Bushwick Daily reported. He now sells so many grills that he has three people working for him. He also has customers from all over the U.S. and Canada. He also learned web design and built his own website around 2001.