BBQ business fires up

Haines’ winter food scene will receive a boost with a new barbecue pop-up run by Jessie and Hailey Sanders.

The couple kicked off Bubba Blu’s BBQ with $10 pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw and baked beans at a Glacier Bears volleyball team fundraiser Tuesday. They plan to do pop-ups at a variety of times and locations this winter before assessing whether to turn the business into a year-round venture.

“We’re just excited to bring something new to the town of Haines,” said Jessie, a para-educator at Haines School who is originally from Billings, Montana. Hailey also works at the school, as a kindergarten teacher. The two moved to Haines in November 2020.

“My whole life, growing up, my family has always smoked a lot of meat. It’s been a passion of mine,” Jessie said.

Bubba Blu’s hasn’t finalized offerings but they plan to serve a range of meat entrees from brisket to burnt ends, pulled pork, ribs and pork loin. “While we’re starting up without really knowing the demand we’ll see, we’ll probably start out slow, just doing one or two options with the main meat there,” Jessie said.

A sample menu on the business’ Facebook page lists burnt ends and pulled pork sandwiches at $17, pork loin at $15 and ribs at $20, each coming with two of three sides: “Smoked Beanz,” “QueenB’s Smoked Mac&Cheese” and “Buford’s Corn Salad.”

Pop-up times and locations will be announced on Facebook as they are scheduled. “As of right now we’re just going to kind of wait and see how it works out the first couple of times,” Jessie said.

The business is named after the couple’s bulldog, Blu.

Wildhaven Wools to open retail shop on Main Street

Julia Billings, whose company Wildhaven Wools sells merino wool base layers for children, is opening a studio and fiber arts shop on Main Street — in the old Alaska Arts Confluence space.

“I wanted to move out of my home studio and into a larger space,” said Billings, who sews and sells online colorful children’s base layers, hats and tee shirts made out of sustainably sourced merino wool.

Her store will be stocked with some of her products, but will also have an array of arts supplies for local sewers and knitters. “It’s really more fiber arts, primarily yarn and some fabric, then some notions for knitting primarily, a little for sewing. I’ll have some kits available for embroidery, cross-stitch, and some patterns,” Billings said.

She will also carry Oaki rain gear — “really bomber” equipment for children in wet Southeast Alaska. Billings said she’ll have different offerings than Ampersand and other local stores, hoping to complement but not compete with them.

“I am hoping to have classes as well for people who want to learn or expand their skill sets,” Billings said. “Hopefully we’ll have some knitting nights for people who love to knit and visit and have a bit of a gathering space.”

Billings, who grew up in Juneau, moved to Haines in 2019 with her husband Adam. She has been sewing as a hobby for years but hasn’t ventured yet into selling adult clothing, which is more expensive to manufacture, she said.

She started making clothes for her children out of merino wool after they complained about being uncomfortable wearing conventional cotton.

Merino wool is a soft and breathable kind of wool that comes from the Merino breed of sheep. Billings sources it from New Zealand and Australia.

“It’s really an amazing fabric. It’s a joy to sew it. It has all the benefits of wool without the inconveniences,” Billings said.

Billlings’ new spot will have a store in the front and a studio in the back.