Meet James Stephens of Big Dawgs in Bessemer, Alabama

Meet James Stephens of
Big Dawgs in Bessemer, Alabama
photo by Antonio Boswell

In 2008 while in college, James Stephens gained an interest in grilling. With his friends Terry and Antonio making fun of him for him not knowing how to cook, Stephens still moved forward with learning to cook.

In September of 2020, Stephens introduced himself to the culinary world and established his business, Big Dawgs. A mobile food stand serving up the best grilled and smoked dogs and wings in Bessemer, Alabama, and surrounding areas.

The most popular items from Big Dawgs are The Rottie and The Snoop Dog. The Rottie is two seasoned beef patties grilled to perfection and topped with cheese, onions, peppers, mustard, and barbecue sauce on a toasted bun. The Snoop Dog is a Conecuh sausage split and grilled topped with grilled onions, peppers, mustard, and barbecue sauce.

A regular business day starts for the Big Dawgs founder around 5 am as he begins with prayer, workout, goes through inventory, and finishes prepping from the night before to start selling his menu items by 11 am for lunch.

Some goals that are in motion right now for Stephens are to have the 2nd annual block party to celebrate two years in business, a food truck by October, eventually, open up a brick and mortar location, to serve vegan meat options, and to leave the biggest food place in the world to his son.

Stephens’s advice for any entrepreneurs or inspiring entrepreneurs is to know your target audience, understand that a stranger will be your biggest supporter, don’t expect close family and friends to support you, and use Google for everything.

Some people that are to thank for the success of Big Dawgs are Uncle Boswell, Antonio Curry, LaToya Tony, Delric Dunning, Slim, Corey, Mr. Kerry, Taesha Ragland, Shambria Davis, Diamond Lyles, and T Mac eats.


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