Fat Daddy's Gourmet BBQ
By Brandi Barnett
Who's Your Daddy?March 2007
By Melissa Gulden
Hardly your typical business owners, brothers Mike and Jim Norvell are gregarious, tattooed and full of chutzpah—but I guess that’s par for the course in a business founded on spice.
Fat Daddy’s Gourmet BBQ is one hot hangout. And it’s not just Jim’s secret sauce and
marinade, either. With more than 40 years restaurant experience between them, these
brothers know how to run the show.
Four years ago, both men were working for “the other guy” when they decided they
wanted a piece of the action—their own place. Intending on opening in Yuba City, they
chose Redding because Mike and his wife, Rebecca, loved the area and wanted to raise
their kids there.
“We could have gone anywhere,” said Mike. “But everything fell into place here. The
move was very natural, so we knew it was meant to be.”
At their father’s insistence, they chose the name ‘Fat Daddy’s’, then the logo, of which
Mike had a vision for years. Things began to fall into place and many local businesses
pitched in to make the dream a reality.
More Family Ties, than Family Feud, it is truly a family affair.Mike works the front,
Jim, the back and Rebecca, the books. As Mike puts it, “Everything you see isme,
everything you taste is him, and everything you don’t see is her.”
The dynamic duo’s next step after opening the restaurant was to market Jim’s secret
sauce, which is now sold in 24 stores in the North State, including Holiday, WinCo and
Their goal now is to have their own manufacturing plant at the local level as well. After
all, Mike has always preached “the power is in the consumer’s hands to keep business
local. If you can’t support one another in a town like Redding, what can you do?” Indeed.
The uniqueness of the Southern-style barbeque and the quickness of the service makes
Fat Daddy’s a very popular feeding spot. “Our M.O. is turn and burn,” said Mike.
“It’s not fast food, it’s good food, fast.”
With catering, take-out and a lively sit-down atmosphere, Fat Daddy’s offers plenty of
good, old-fashioned barbeque, with a zesty twist.
According toMike, even if they go national they’ll never abandon their Redding roots.
“It all started here.” Lucky for us.