Athletic trainer opens pop-up Delray Barbecue in Detroit

Michael Hamilton '22, Staff Writer

MULTI-TASKER South Athletic Trainer Collin Karcher opened Delray Barbecue for curbside pick-up in early April. He serves pork, greens, cornbread and more. Photo courtesy of Collin Karcher.

Wrapping ankles, stretching cramps and performing concussion tests are just a small part of the day for Grosse Pointe South’s athletic trainer Collin Karcher. Most students only know him as the friendly face that sells them Gatorade products, but Gatorade is not all that he sells. After Karcher leaves the halls of South, he heads home to start cooking whole pigs and barbecue.
Karcher is the owner and operator of Delray Barbecue. According to Karcher, Delray Barbecue serves authentic barbecue and whole pigs. Karcher said he got his start when his parents left an old smoker at their former house..
“I started by cooking a whole pig for a birthday party,” Karcher said. “After the party, a friend who caters in Detroit asked if I would cook for her events, and from there I started to build a brand and Delray Barbecue was born.”
Karcher said most of their business comes from social gatherings. With all of the social gatherings on hold, and no business in the foreseeable future, they had to evolve. He said he
always envisioned the company becoming a take-out spot and now, by necessity, they have to be.
“We opened for our first curbside take-out a few weeks ago and the day was incredibly chaotic, but a success. We knew we were on to something,” Karcher said. “Each week we get better and better, taking feedback into account and adjusting accordingly.”
According to Karcher, it can be brutal prepping food until 4 a.m. only to get back up at 6 a.m. to cook again. But he said that it is all worth it when he hears the positive feedback and sees the smiles on people’s faces when they taste his food.
“At times, it is a monumental challenge to balance my athletic training career with Delray Barbecue,” Karcher said. “But it’s most important to me that we maintain the utmost authenticity, making everything from scratch, and refusing to take shortcuts.”
Karcher said that he, along with other small business owners, are in a bind right now and it helps a lot to buy from local places. He also says that he misses working at South.
“We are always happy to see GPS families come through every Saturday. It makes for a joyous reminder of more normal days at GPS sporting events,” Karcher said. “I miss working athletic at the high school and am not sure if I could pick a favorite between the Barbecue and Athletic training. They both are demanding and rewarding in the same.”