Longtime friends and Warren County, NC natives Martin Lawrence and R.J. Perry joined forces in 2016 to establish Lawrence & Perry BBQ event vending and catering.
Lawrence and Perry became friends when they were in kindergarten at Mariam Boyd Elementary School in Warrenton. Both became interested in cooking as children. Lawrence learned from his parents, and Perry learned from his grandmother.
“We were the only two in elementary school our age who were able to cook,” - RJ
As they grew up, both Lawrence and Perry discovered how much they loved cooking on the grill, and they would grill for family, friends and classmates.
Lawrence moved to Rocky Mount in high school, but the two friends continued to grill together through high school and college. College brought a new audience for the young grill masters’ talents. Lawrence headed to North Carolina A& T State University in Greensboro, while Perry attended North Carolina Central University in Durham.
As the two grilled for family events and friends, their menu began to expand. The two had always talked about starting a business together. The idea began to develop in earnest as they completed their business degrees. They sought advice from their families and researched the market for barbecue restaurants. Today, Lawrence & Perry BBQ focuses on catering, event vending and includes Scratch Made Confections, operated by Perry’s wife, Morgan. Lawrence's wife, Cherrelle assists the family venture with Marketing & Public Relations.
RJ has always been inspired to cook by his grandmother, and Martin is inspired by his grandfather, William and his mentor in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area, PitMaster Corries Hardy of Hardy's Barbecue .
Both Lawrence & Perry have always been inspired by legendary PitMasters such as North Carolina local, Ed Mitchell and famous stars like Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone and Moe Cason.
**Photo & article excerpt from Luci Weldon of the Warren Record in Warrenton, NC.