For as long as he can remember, Mike Barron has enjoyed smoking meat, cooking for his family and giving back to his community. As the owner, with his wife Melissa, of Chief 10’s Smokehouse, he gets to do all three.

This Saturday, September 23, 2023, when his food truck rolls into Bucks County Community College for the 7th Annual Car Show for Autism, Mike will not only be dishing up mouthwatering BBQ dishes for fun and profit, he’ll also be donating a portion of those profits to support Potential. And nothing could make him happier.

“Our mission statement for the BBQ company is to give back to some of the great organizations in our community that are doing good work,” he says. “I have family members on the spectrum, and while none of them receive services at Potential, I would drive by every day on my way to work. I would see the kids outside in the summer during camp.

“When I was asked to bring my food truck to the car show a few years ago, I did my own research. I went over there and I met with Kristine (Quinby) and knew immediately, I am talking 1,000 percent, that I wanted to do the show and help support Potential.”

As a child growing up in the ’80s, he recalls the struggles his brother faced because of his autism. It was a different time, and there wasn’t as much support or awareness for autism. People, especially kids, might say things that weren’t so “politically correct,” explains Mike. “I was a champion for him; I would stand up for him. In the neighborhood where I grew up (in Philadelphia), we never excluded anyone. If you lived on our street, you were part of our crew. That ‘street’ has gotten bigger.” Indeed it has. Chief 10’s Smokehouse was originally founded, in part, to pay homage to Mike’s late grandfather Joe, a Philadelphia Fire Chief.

Joe was an influential person in Mike’s life, and an amazing cook. When Joe passed away in March of 2020, Mike decided to keep his legacy alive by naming the business after him.

“My grandfather was my best friend, like a dad, like a kid brother, who was always telling old man jokes. He raised me to have a sense of community. He was dedicated to a life of service,” says Mike. “My father was a Marine; I also have several friends and family members who are Vietnam War veterans or served in Iraq or Afghanistan. I could see how they all look after each other. I asked myself, ‘How can I help?’”

His answer was with great food for great causes. “I grew up cooking. When we started this business, it was a hobby for me. The world had shut down (during COVID), and I would invite people over for BBQ ribs. People would come knocking at the door, and they loved it. I realized how much I enjoyed putting a smile on someone’s face.” 

He looks forward to putting a smile on the faces of many people this Saturday, September 23, at the Car Show for Autism. While their menu varies slightly with every event, you can expect to choose from such popular favorites as pulled chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, mac and cheese, coleslaw and baked beans.

We are thankful to Mike and Chief 10’s Smokehouse for being a part of our community! 
For more information, visit their website at

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