The town of Shippensburg is home to many attractions such as Shippensburg University, bars, diners and hosts the wildly popular Corn Festival every summer. As of June 2018 residents were able to add Holy Smokehouse BBQ to that list.
Justin Kauffman and his wife Kristen opened the establishment as a second location to their already existing restaurant in Chambersburg. The Shippensburg Holy Smokehouse is located at 13 South Earl St., replacing the former Orky’s Bar.
The company finds its roots in barbecue competitions, which Justin competed in as a teenager. His love for the craft became a reality when he and his wife’s father purchased a smoker and opened their own business.
In their early days they primarily catered large events, weddings and fundraisers.
This was just the beginning, as the flavors created by Kauffman were just too good to go unnoticed.
“We started having a lot of people ask us for a place to sit down and eat,” Kristen says.
The Chambersburg Mall eventually was the location for them to start their business venture and open the first Holy Smokehouse BBQ in 2016.
Once established there, Kauffman took his recipes to the PA Open Air Farmers’ Market in Harrisburg.
Loyal patrons would come to enjoy the food so much they demanded to see a location in Shippensburg. Luckily enough for Kauffman, the already known bar, Orky’s, was closing, which freed up a prime spot. The Kauffmans deemed this spot perfect and opened the doors in June 2018. This location is family friendly, while also providing a BYOB option. Holy Smokehouse also offers a 10 percent discount to Shippensburg students.
Although much is known about Holy Smokehouse, some of the best kept secrets are their bread and butter. “It’s his recipe,” Kristen says, “I don’t even know what is in it.”
Through all the competitions and love for the barbeque business, Justin created his own one of a kind sauce that is featured on many of the menu items. Also included in the spice line-up is a signature rub he has created that is bottled and sold at the restaurant. Down the road they hope to bottle the sauce and sell it in the restaurants as well.
Looking toward the future, Kauffman hopes to keep his business growing and give back to the community as much as possible. The Holy Smokehouse is a great addition to the quaint town and benefits all who enjoy the rich taste of a good country barbeque.