This week I stopped by Stuff’d Wings in Houston’s 3rd Ward. They displayed a culinary delight during the Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend, thanks to the special collaboration between Stuff’d Wings and Ray’s Barbecue Shack. This partnership not only brought new business to the area but also showcased the fusion of flavors and expertise from both establishments.

Stuff’d Wings owner Jarrod Rector’s journey began in high school. He was inspired by his girlfriend’s mother, who owned a concession business. In order to spend time with his girlfriend, Jarrod had to work the concession stand. There he developed a passion for entrepreneurship.

After working in the oil and gas industry for 12 years, he decided to combine two of his favorite foods, fried chicken and rice, as a special creation for his wife.

Originally starting as a pop-up shop in 2016, Stuff’d Wings quickly gained popularity. They expanded their reach by participating in traveling festivals and carnivals, eventually acquiring a food truck. It was at the intersection of Tierwester and OST that they crossed paths with Mr. Ray and his flavorful barbecue. Recognizing the potential of their collaboration, Stuff’d Wings and Mr. Ray embarked on a journey of culinary success.

For three years, business thrived, until they made the decision to establish a brick-and-mortar location at 41 Richmond Avenue. This move solidified their presence in the community and allowed them to cater to a wider customer base.

Mr. Ray, boasts over 30 years of experience in the barbeque business. His journey started with backyard cookouts during football games with friends. Encouraged by their positive feedback, Mr. Ray began selling his barbecue and quickly gaining popularity. Now, 30 years later, he finds himself in a successful partnership with Rector at Stuff’d Wings.

In their partnership, Stuff’d Wings supplied the wings while Mr. Ray expertly smoked them, resulting in a mouthwatering combination. To highlight and honor the locally Black-owned businesses in the community, Stuff’d Wings proudly added Mr. Ray’s Barbeque shack to the Houston Mural located inside their store. This mural serves as a tribute to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit within the community.

On their menu, patrons can find Ms. Mack’s spicy rice stuffed wings and delectable mac and cheese, further showcasing the creative and mouthwatering offerings from both establishments.

The collaboration between Stuff’d Wings and Ray’s Barbecue not only brought new business to Houston’s 3rd Ward community but also celebrated the rich culinary heritage and entrepreneurship within the area. Through their dedication, unique flavors, and harmonious partnership, they have left a lasting impression on the local dining scene, delighting customers with every bite.

I’m originally from Kansas. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in communication studies. Shortly after moving to Houston in 2007, I began doing photography. I covered cy fair sports...