Durham BBQ joint Picnic serving homegrown pork throughout pandemic

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Thursday, July 2, 2020
Picnic doesn't miss a beat, thanks to its own pigs
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Durham barbecue joint Picnic doesn't miss a beat, thanks to its own pigs.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Riding out the COVID-19 crisis hasn't exactly been a picnic at Picnic in Durham. The owners, like those of many other businesses, moved to 100 percent takeout. But going without one of the main staples, pork, has never once been a problem.

The barbecue joint holds the distinction of raising its own pigs.

While some other spots experienced interruptions in the food supply chain, the restaurant has been serving up classic Carolina barbecue plates throughout the pandemic and it is thanks to a major undertaking more than a decade ago.

"When this hit, we were a little bit isolated from it in the sense," Picnic co-owner Wyatt Dickson said. "That has seen us through this dark time, we've been able to keep the pigs coming."

The farm is located just 10 miles down the road, and ABC11 was told there is a strict way of handling the animals.

"They really have a great quality of life and they're treated with a lot of reverence," Picnic co-owner Ryan Butler said.

Butler started raising pigs 12 years ago seeing the importance of farm-to-table eating and highlighting homegrown items.

Picnic is sharing with other chefs in town and using the opportunity to educate customers.

"Wanting to know where your food is coming from has become a lot more important in the last six weeks, eight weeks. I'm having conversations will new consumers that I haven't had in 10 years, and that's really been a positive of all this," Butler said.

The restaurant remains take-out only.

Delivery is being offered within a 5-mile radius of the Cole Mill Road location.