A HEREFORDSHIRE man is "taking the plunge" after opening a new catering business.

Ashley Tunley, from Leominster, has recently opened Big Smoke BBQ, specialising in a order and collection service of smoked meats and dishes for events.

He has spent the last few years cooking for friends and relatives in his back garden in Printers Mews in Leominster after a 'happy accident' led to him acquiring a smoker BBQ.

He moved to the house in 2019 and was looking for a cheap barbeque to entertain people.


He bought a BBQ from the internet thinking it was just a normal BBQ but soon realised he had purchased a smoker instead.

He said that at the time he had no idea how to use it so set about learning how to cook with it.

This started his journey to his new business.

Mr Tunley said that it all started after a happy accident.

He had no prior cooking experience but kept practising with friends and family, and ended up inviting people round for a 'test event' for the Queen's jubilee a few months ago.

He said: "No one knew he was planning to start a business at the time, but after everyone had tasted the food, they were saying "you should really do this for a living" which is exactly what I wanted to hear.


He has recently taken brought a large smoker that was shipped over from Texas, along with a commercial holding oven that helps him with the slow cooking process and he said that helps with cooking for large orders.

Mr Tunley said: "It's an enormous thing and it took me three hours just to manouvre it across the garden from the side of the house.

Mr Tunley will run the business alongside his other job as a carpet fitter and hopes that it will prove to be a successful venture.

"People are saying I'm brave doing it now in the current economic climate but I am going to take the plunge.

"Hopefully starting in a small way and cooking to order will help the business grow slowly and organically."

For more information on Mr Tunley's new business visit the Big Smoke BBQ Facebook page