Maryland Startups / Success Stories / Job Creation
New veteran-owned business spices up Maryland BBQ scene
By Amanda Winters /
March 04, 2015

Texas 202 Barbeque of Maryland, a new family-owned and operated business originally from Southern Texas, is setting up shop here on the East Coast.

With help from a $42,000 loan through the State's Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program, owners Rev and Felicia Ward are locating their barbeque business in Prince George's Countyhome to nearly 70,000 veteran residents, the largest in the area.

Rev Ward, a veteran of the United States Army, believes this loan program provides hope and promise to veterans looking to start a new career. Ward says he is taking this opportunity as a chance to use what he learned and lived in the military and give back to the community. He even hopes to hire fellow veterans for upcoming jobs at the restaurant.

"This program has opened a new door for us. With this loan, veterans are able to see great possibilities. It shows that anything is possible, and there are resources available to help veterans succeed," said Ward. "I appreciate all the help we've received from DBED, MDVA, and the Maryland Small Business Development Center."

"DBED is pleased to welcome Rev and Felicia Ward and their Texas barbeque to Maryland," said DBED Secretary Mike Gill. "We want to make starting a business in Maryland as easy as possible and that starts by giving entrepreneurs and business owners much-needed tools, like low or no-interest loans, to help them get off to a great start."

121-new-zion-bbq300While the Wards believe "it will be tough to compete with the Maryland crabs," their traditional Texas-style menu will earn them a spot on the Maryland map. Texas 202 plans to serve beef brisket, pork ribs, smoked turkeys and hams, and more, and will be open for business four days a week.

"As a veteran myself and child of a military family, supporting veteran-owned businesses is a priority of my administration and I want to thank DBED and MDVA for providing loans and incredible opportunities to our heroes," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. "I want to welcome Texas 202 Barbeque to Prince George's County, thank them for investing in us, and wish them great success. I look forward to dining there as soon as their doors open."

The Department of Business and Economic Development and the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs offer a variety of programs to assist Maryland military veterans. Find additional information on their websites and a link to DBED's full loan announcement here.


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