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(click photo or link below to view Mulberry's menu & hours of operation)

(click photo or link below to view Lake Wales's menu & hours of operation)

709 E. Highway 60 - Mulberry, Fl  33860

907 2nd Street North / 179 Burns Ave - Lake Wales, Fl  33853

Choose the Mulberry location

Choose the Lake Wales location



709 E. Highway 60, Mulberry, Fl

The problem most soul food restaurants face, Johnny Carter Jr. says, is that they try to serve a huge variety of food all the time. By offering a menu of every exotic dish – from oxtails to neckbones – they often waste money by having to throw out what customers don't order.

Carter knows about supply chains. For more than 25 years, he worked as a logistics manager for FedEx, UPS and Office Depot.

So when he started Carter's Bar-B-Que take-out in 1999 in a trailer on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland, he stuck to two things: ribs and chicken. Once the business became a success, he moved into a red, concrete-block house along State Road 60 in Mulberry and turned the carport into a drive-through.

The menu has grown since those early days to include soul food staples such as fried okra, oxtail, lima beans, collard greens and sweet potato pie. But he stays close to the rib foundation. If you want them, he serves rib tips, a rib slab, a thin-end rib, large ribs, small ribs, and ribs and chicken.

The key, he says, is freshness and consistency plus his family's secret recipe BBQ rub mix (which he also sells separately online).

"My customers know that if they want oxtail, you don't come on Tuesday because we don't get a delivery then," Carter says. "You come on Thursday when it's fresh. We only serve it fresh."

His signature yellow barbecue sauce, a family recipe from his days growing up in Albany, Ga., also lures hungry diners. It's so popular that he sells it now in bottles at Publix, Winn-Dixe & on his website. .

"We've shipped it everywhere," he says. "We have even had people from as far away as Japan who have called and ask us to send them some."

   Most customers Say....

"It's Just Plain Good!"

Real Food, Real Fresh, Real Fast