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Roast of the Town

Fed up with working for others, one couple decided to take a stand—a barbecue stand, that is.

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This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 1999, Billy Penny found himself in an all-too-common predicament- was laid off from his engineering job in Marion, Indiana, and was looking for a way to provide for his family. But instead of searching for work in a difficult job market, he decided to make his way as an entrepreneur. "I told my wife, 'I'm tired of someone telling me how much money I'm going to make, what my hours are going to be- just want to do something different,'" says Penny, 42.

So he and his wife, Kathy, 36, decided to sell their car and sink all their resources into starting a business- roadside barbecue stand. Unlike Texas, where they once lived, barbecue restaurants weren't very common in their Indiana community, so it seemed like the perfect niche opportunity.

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