In 2002, Owner, Martin had his first taste of Southern BBQ while visiting Melissa at home in Florida. Over the next few years, the couple had many opportunities to see The South while visiting her family across Georgia, Tennessee, South and North Carolina and Virginia. 

In these moments Martin’s love for BBQ and Southern food was born and his backyard BBQs were never the same. Red Gum BBQ was born in 2013 out of this passion for Southern-style BBQ and desire to share it far and wide.

In 2012, Martin decided his road to happiness was lined with BBQ and he wanted to leave his job in local government to become a Pitmaster. With a commitment to being a different kind of business, the couple put all of their savings into a Texas Offset BBQ and set out to bring Southern-style BBQ to Australia. Over the next 3 years, Martin travelled to markets & festivals, catered events and smoked at pop ups around Melbourne and the Mornignton Peninsula. Red Gum BBQ was one of Australia’s first Southern-style BBQ brands and had the joy of sharing Martin’s love of BBQ with its growing community.

a home

In 2016, Martin and Melissa decided it was time to give Red Gum BBQ its own home. Committed to its regional roots, Martin scoured the Mornington Peninsula until he came across the old truck mechanic’s workshed in Red Hill. Martin cut trenches, Melissa painted, friends and neighbours showed up for working bees to help build the restaurant. Melissa left her job as a high school teacher to work in the business and the couple were all in. In January of 2017, the giant roller doors went up and their people came for BBQ.

In early 2018, Red Gum BBQ became Austraia’s first B Corp restaurant. The ethical accreditation is one Red Gum BBQ is very proud of and drives decision-making across the business. The early years in Red Hill have been marked by extraordinary challenges and successes. The space looks very different to those opening days but the vision of creating the best, most authentic Southern-style BBQ continues to be at the heart of what we do. And while so much is changing, some things remain the same: our staff are the most awesome humans, our Red Gum BBQ community, who visit, share and enjoy, warm our hearts and if you look into the Pit Room, you may see Martin, loving smoking BBQ.