As if the homegrown love wasn't enough, fans of Zachary's BBQ now have official back-up when they tout the Norristown eatery as the best BBQ joint in the Philly area. Both Philadelphia Magazine and Main Line Today Magazine have added Zachary's to their 2012 "Best of" lists – Philly Mag crowned them best BBQ in Philly and Main Line Today declared them best southern comfort food.
While most fans of Zachary's would chalk their success up to owner and head chef Keith Taylor's skill in the kitchen and amazing talent for homemade Southern classics, Taylor himself notes that he couldn't have done it without some help from an unlikely source – the President.
"We are an Obama story," said Taylor.
That's right, Taylor credits President Barack Obama and his policies with helping to transform his already bustling catering business into the full-fledged restaurant that so many Norristown residents have come to love. Taylor even went so far as to pen an open letter to the President, thanking him for his commitment to small business.
"My wife and I started this business 11 years ago," said Taylor. "We'd always been profitable as a catering company, but we realized there's probably about two to three hundred thousand dollars floating around out there that we were turning down. Hence the idea to build a retail location."
But when Taylor and his wife visited local banks to find funding for their venture, they were met with rejection.
"Banks kept saying 'no'," recalled Taylor.
Enter Obama. Taylor credits the President's changes to the U.S. Small Business Association's (SBA) lending policies and his creation of a small business tax rebate allowing business owners to invest in new equipment and hardware and get a rebate on the taxes they would owe with helping him and his wife realize their dream of full-fledged restaurant.
"When you're buying a $20,000 smoker or an $8,000 deli case or a $10,000 hot line – things that it takes to run this business," said Taylor. "That's big money to a small business owner who's saying, 'I want to take my business to the next level.'"
Taylor thinks his story should be an inspiration to other business owners with an eye towards expansion and an example for those who think President Obama is wrong for business.
"We're one small example of a big change in a small town," said Taylor. "Because of something that was changed in government by our President."
While Taylor admits that he may not agree with all the President's polices since he's been in office, he had one piece of advice for BBQ-loving Obama haters.
"I don't agree with everything Obama's done," said Taylor. "But those who are the Obama naysayers, they have to kind of bite their tongue when they come in here and they're enjoying our BBQ – because it is Obama BBQ."