Hawg Holler owner Jason Croft

Jason Croft, owner of Hawg Holler Barbecue, is busy planning a formal opening in Rockmart during early October.

Agnes Hagin/SJ

Jason Croft of Taylorsville plans to open Haw Holler Barbecue - a new family style restaurant - in the building that formerly housed The Little Italy at 110 Sycamore Grove in Rockmart.

The name, Hawg Holler, was selected for 2 reasons: It is unique and can be easily remembered. It is also a creation of the restaurant’s owner.

He hopes to hold two soft openings prior to the formal opening in early October. Hours for the new business will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. The phone number is 678-883-9299.

Special barbecue items will be added to the menu for people who enjoy the way meat is prepared in the south. These include ribs, chopped pork, turkey breast, macaroni and cheese, slaw, baked or mashed potatoes and potato salad. Prices will range from $5 to $20, according to Croft.

Families with children will find a kid friendly menu which includes barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers. Each youngster will receive a pig nose that can be worn inside the restaurant. This is part of the fun for children at birthday parties offered at the new business.

Croft be-lieves that friendly, courteous service is a must in any business, especially one that serves all ages.

“I support my staff 100 percent of the time,” he said. “The dividend of treating others like you want to be is treated is satisfied people who will return for another meal. Happy staff is reflected the number of customers that return time and again.”

Croft has a family history in the food industry that dates back to a childhood in a small Georgia community near the Florida border. His parents are Larry Croft and Sandy Dalton and grandparents are Claude and Nolie Croft.

“My grandfather Claude was a Methodist minister and my grandmother Nolie was known for her hospitality and the great meals she prepared on Sunday after church,” he said. “I can still remember the smells, taste and fellowship we shared in their home.”

Croft admits he is not a baker, but smiles with pride when he talks about his wife Kristy’s talent when preparing treats like cake, pies and other sweets.

“I don’t bake, but I can cook,” he said. “My experience of preparing a variety of dishes will be applied to our business,” he said.

Croft has been involved in all aspects of the industry, which includes opening restaurants at 13 different locations in communities such as Douglasville.

“I started working in family restaurants when I was 17,” he said. “I am known as a butcher and can carve and cut to fit any menu requirement.”

Family members included in the new business are brothers Paul Elliott and Adam Croft.

“It is a team effort,” they agreed with an exchanged look and laughter.

The invitation to visit the new restaurant after it opens in early October is “come and give us a try.”