Chad “Hoss” Grigg, owner of Big Daddy’s BBQ in Meridian died this week. He died of an unexpected brain bleed, according to a post on the Big Daddy’s website.
“As a family, we are doing our best to adjust to a life without our rock,” Grigg’s family wrote on Facebook. “For everyone that knew him, it should come as no surprise that he never does anything half way and that includes his passing. He was an incredible son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend and pitmaster.”
A longtime voice on Boise radio, Hoss left the airwaves and radio boards nearly 15 years ago to start a new second career — cooking up some of the best-rated barbecue grub in the Treasure Valley.
He launched Big Daddy’s BBQ in April, 2006 – taking his passion for backyard BBQ to a full-service restaurant and catering outfit. The first location, in Kuna, closed during the economic downturn in the late part of the 2000s, but a catering business took off.
“Hossman” as he was known on the radio, brought together a mix of sauces and spices, smoking everything from prime rib to chicken. His wife Khaseta helped whip up a series of sides, bringing Big Daddy’s BBQ to life.
He said that trial and error as a backyard pit master helped perfect the recipes.
“Burnin’ meat on the weekends, trying to find a recipe I liked,” Grigg told the Idaho Press in 2013.
The effort – and reputation – led them back to bricks and mortar, this time at a restaurant location in Meridian. Another location in Boise opened – and closed earlier this year.
Grigg’s family says they plan to keep the business running, and are working on plans.
“We appreciate everything this community has done to support Hoss and this business,” they wrote on Facebook. “It will be hard, but we plan to stay open and keep slinging BBQ in Hoss’s honor. A lot of you have helped build this business and Hoss loved finding new recipes to feed the community.”
National attention for radio work
Grigg’s career in radio took him from announcing rock tunes on J-105 and Arrow 103.3 – to launching pop station Kiss FM and running that station for its first, formative years.
While at Kiss, Grigg landed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The station, at the time owned by Clear Channel Communications (now iHeart Media), helped pioneer a then-new approach in radio: Mixing together a small amount of local input with personalities living in other markets.
He told the national paper about a number of innovations to help the station sound local – including a special website filled with local info for the DJs living in California and elsewhere
“You can deliver a better product than a live station,” says Hoss Grigg, who was an on-air personality under the old format before becoming the program director for Boise’s KISS. “If they get it, they get it, no matter where it comes from.”
The story – and Grigg’s quotes – were entered in the Congressional record and used as the centerpiece of a media ownership hearing, where the company’s CEO was asked a number of pointed questions about the practices in use on Kiss at the time.
Passion for food – and family
He had deep involvement in the community, chairing the Kuna Days event for a time, and even running for city council in Kuna in 2007.
(A small personal note, in another life, I built the first website for Big Daddy’s back in the mid-2000s, and helped him with a website for Kuna Days when Grigg chaired the event).
Along the way, Grigg served as a firefighter and EMT, a bail bondsman and even a ‘fugitive recovery agent.”
He started to mix his skills recently – with a video series that brought his signature voice and knowledge for cooking. An episode just a few weeks ago gave tips on how to pick the perfect cut of meat.
That passion, cooking for other people, led him to Big Daddy’s – and a growing family business.
In his last post on LinkedIn earlier this year, Grigg — Hoss — posted a write-up of his daughter Kersten’s role in the business. His caption on the post was simple:
“SO proud of this girl!”