Yergy’s State Road Barbecue is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The Yerglers take inspiration from across the country for meat preparation methods, making Texas brisket and Kansas City style ribs. (Photo provided)
Yergy’s State Road Barbecue is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The Yerglers take inspiration from across the country for meat preparation methods, making Texas brisket and Kansas City style ribs. (Photo provided)
Adia and Matt Yergler take pride in serving authentic barbecue.

Matt smokes the meat while Adia whips up the sauces and sides.

Together they’ve been serving barbecue meals to Indiana communities for about nine years.

As of this month, they’ve got a permanent spot in Jay County.

The Yerglers launched a new location for their business, Yergy’s State Road Barbecue, last weekend at 124 N. Commerce St., Portland. The building previously housed Snyd’s Place, which also served barbecue.

Yergy’s offers a variety of options, including ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken and beef brisket. One of its most popular items is nachos, which come with pulled pork, pulled chicken or beef brisket, barbecue sauce and cheese — for a dollar more, customers can also add white onions and sour cream.

Fitting with its slogan, “Crossroads of American Barbecue,” Yergy’s takes inspiration from across the United States for meat preparation methods, offering Texas brisket and Kansas City style ribs. All sides and sauces are also created by Adia from original recipes.

One of Yergy’s more unique items, Matt explained, is the smoked half-pound burger. For a larger sandwich, customers can also choose a “Bubba” burger, which comes with the half-pound burger, cheese and pulled pork, or a “Big Bubba,” which is a half-pound burger topped with cheese, pulled pork and coleslaw.

“That fills you up and makes you want to take a nap afterwards,” said Matt.

The Yerglers met in Boulder, Colorado. Adia, a Utah native, moved to Bluffton about 21 years ago to start a family with Matt. Their two sons, 19-year-old Brody and 15-year-old Bailey, work for the business. They also have a 10-year-old daughter, Gracey.

Although they’ve been doing barbecue for just under a decade, the Yerglers owned a variety of establishments previously.

“We always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so we were dabbling around in different businesses,” explained Matt.

In 2013, the Yerglers purchased a smoker to start preparing meat. They aided in the launch of a community center, Lot 49 Ministries, near the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood in Bluffton. Matt started offering cookouts once a month for the ministry, which Adia credits as the start of his love for grilling and smoking meat.

At the time, the Yerglers owned a gas station in North Manchester. They started offering barbecue options at the store, and the business soon took off. They later sold their gas station and transferred operations to a food truck.

“We started setting up along the side of the road,” Matt said. “That’s why it’s called Yergy’s State Road Barbecue, because we’re always setting up on a state road somewhere.”

Their business continued to grow. In November 2016, the Yerglers opened a permanent location at 1415 S. Main St., Bluffton.

“We’ve been hitting it hard in the barbecue world ever since,” Matt said with a smile.

Recently the Yerglers had been looking into bringing their food truck to Portland. They posted to Facebook about visiting the area and received an abundance of supportive comments, along with multiple leasing offers from local property owners.

“I think that’s why we chose to come here too, because the support and the kindness and the people who are asking us to come out,” explained Adia. “The community was so excited of the thought of us coming here. So why not?”

The Yerglers announced their plans to open in Portland on April 1. They chose to lease from Steve Snyder, who ended up being their first customer at the Portland location last week.

Yergy’s State Road Barbecue is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Although they’re only open for a few days through the week, Matt noted barbecuing takes preparation and work, adding that typical barbecue establishments in southern states are open similar days. In addition to its regular menu, the business also offers catering.

“We want to serve the communities that we’re in,” said Matt, pointing to his family’s faith. “We want to bring glory to God in the way that we do … we do it through barbecue. We take great pride in our food, in our barbecue. We try to do it the right way, and we just hope people are happy.”