December 21, 2013

Orlando Sentinel – John Rivers

John Rivers, a former health-care exec, started a barbecue ministry in 2004, to help a local family pay the enormous amount of medical bills for their daughter’s battle with cancer. Although Meghan Joyce has passed, her “courage, strength and spirit laid the foundation of the core values of what was to become 4 Rivers Smokehouse.” Initially the original Winter Park location was not to be a restaurant but a “commissary for the ministry,” and once a take out component was added, a line out the door had begun and the infamous parking situation had begun. Since then, “Winter Park 1” has moved less than a mile away into a bigger vicinity and 4 more locations have been added in the cities of Winter Garden, Longwood, Jacksonville, & Gainesville. Rivers has his eye set on expanding to Alabama and Georgia, saying, “There’s a fascination in the South with seeking out good regional barbecue, and that makes me want to do it even more.

Orlando Sentinel