In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone into home confinement and home schooling, Chris and Geraldine Blakely decided to take action by helping first responders, friends and neighbors. They quickly involved their three children (12, nine and seven-years-old) and began the production of freshly home cooked meals leading to the creation of Blakely Backyard. Due to the rave reviews of their food, the Blakely family now has turned this into their new business venture, selling their food online at www.blakelybackyard.com and now at a special cooler inside of the Pinecrest Wayside Market.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt the need to help our community by delivering food to family, friends in need and front line workers, including hospitals and first responders. Our entire family helps with the preparation, cooking, packaging and delivering the food. This process has united our family even more toward a common goal of helping others and learning so much more about entrepreneurship and philanthropy. It has truly been a magnificent experience, which we excited to expand,” stated Geraldine Blakely.
The Blakely’s have always enjoyed entertaining, regularly hosting friends and family for home-cooked food, drinks and music at their Miami home. As a native Houstonian, Chris grew up on Texas BBQ, and always struggled to find a decent replacement in Miami. Ultimately exasperated with the local options, he began experimenting with a small smoker in the family’s backyard. Over the course of several years, he gradually developed smoking techniques and recipes comparable to the best BBQ places in Texas. Geraldine’s Puerto Rican heritage weighed in heavily, as she introduced her own flavors and tastes into their repertoire that include salmon, brisket, ribs and pork with side dishes like rice with pigeon peas and piñon made of ripe bananas.
The Blakely Backyard menu concept includes four choices of entrees featuring meats such as beef brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork and BBQ ribs, as well as smoked salmon. The side dishes consist of baked beans and arroz con gandules, topped off with a variety of Mo’s Bundt cakes. The goods are packed in vacuum-sealed bags, which are refrigerated and ready to heat at home.
The Blakely family recently delivered several coolers filled with their packaged homemade foods to the nurses and doctors at Coral Gables Hospital and look forward to continue to help the community. For more information on Blakely Backyard, please visit blakelybackyard.com or call 305.333.0993.