CUMMING, Ga. — To some, it’s The Catering Kitchen. To others, it’s Socks’ Love Barbecue. According to Steven Hartsock, the owner, it all started with a mix of spices.

“Back in 2010 when my wife and I married, I gave away a tin can of seasoning,” Hartsock said. “It was a recipe that I had, and we gave it away to the 50 people that came to our wedding.”

He says the boys in his family were known as the Socks, so he called the seasoning Socks’ Love Rub.

“Love to kind of commemorate the day — it was a wedding,” Harsock said. “About six months later, we started getting requests from family members to make more, so I decided to put it in a commercial bottle.”

To promote the seasoning, he started catering different events and eventually moved into the space at 1050 Buford Highway in Cumming.

“Since we had space for a sign we thought ‘what do we call it?’” Hartsock said. “So we got with our branding team and they came up with The Catering Kitchen which fit perfect for what we were doing. We just catered… did not want a restaurant.”

But they changed their minds! And in the summer of 2018, they started serving lunch. However, many people had no idea because the sign only referenced catering.

“After lots of feedback and folks coming in on a daily basis saying ‘we had no idea we can eat here,’ we decided to go back to the original name, the trademarked brand of Socks’ Love and just added the word barbecue.”

The store signage officially changed in mid-March, and hungry people have been showing up ever since.

“I feel like it’s kind of a rebirth, a whole brand new thing,” Hartsock said. “We’re excited about the energy that surrounds this place right now.”

Socks’ Love Barbecue is only open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. or until they sell out of food.

“We’re going to sell out,” Hartsock said. “We want to sell out every day, because we cook fresh daily. If we have a substantial amount of stuff, we will donate it to No Longer Bound.”

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