Farmers market BBQ a big draw

  • Prince says his only prep secret is in the rub.

Now an integral part of the weekly farmer’s market, Herbert Prince speaks of the pleasure from telling his immediate corporate superior where to stick his job ... and then using his own corporate experience to build a successful catering company.

At your service, complete with these smiles, are Danielle and Herbert Prince.

“I used to barbecue for (the corporate) families,” Prince said during a break. “That’s how it started off. Corporate knowledge and experience makes you understand that you have to have more of a conceptual knowledge of how to run a business. You can’t just jump into it, even if you have the resources to do it. It’s not necessarily the feasible thing to do.”

In Prince’s case it clearly was, however.

Baby back ribs by the full slab are also a big draw.

Since 2001, he’s never looked back.

The Port St. Lucie-based company he founded — Herbeque BBQ Catering — specializes in way more than just barbecue fare, but at various markets like that on Marco, it’s pretty much smoked pork, chicken and sausage with sides of mac ‘n cheese and baked beans.

Standing at his portable smoker (he uses hickory logs exclusively, which he gets from a Gainesville supplier), Prince said his only prep secret is in the rub.

The Herbeque stand has a regular place at the east end of the market.

And, like every chef who’s ever stumbled upon what he deems is a mix of magical proportions, he cheerfully refuses to divulge the recipe.

At the Marco market, Prince is usually helped by wife, Danielle, who works the front of the house, so to speak, and already knows the names of plenty of repeat customers.

Pulled pork is served after 7 hours of smoking.

The company has a website, which gives one an idea of the broad diversity of the catering options.

Think 10 to 3,000 people, and foods like vegetables, rolls, sauce, pasta chicken Parmesan, shrimp, cheese and fruit by the mega-trayful, and you get the picture.

If you go

The farmers market starts 7:30 a.m. each Wednesday at Veterans Community Park on Marco Island.