Ashford was driving an 18-wheeler for a living when his parents, Ed and Waldean Ashford, opened Ed’s Smok-N-Q in 2006 in an old Sonic Drive-In on the East Side. Chris soon began helping his father when he wasn’t on the road. Ed, a former military man who had his own system for smoking meats, had started his barbecue adventures at home in Alabama before turning pro.

When an unexpected accident occurred , Ashford was unable to drive full time. He focused on barbecue and his father was there to help him learn. The Ashford family then worked together for many years before they decided to go their separate ways and open their own restaurants. This lead to Chris Ashford opening his own restaurant in that same building in 2016 naming it BBQ Life By Chris as his father Mr.Ed moved down the way to continue Ed's-Smokn-Q's leagcy.


Our kitchen is ran and maintained by Chris Ashford's wife Krystal Ashford. Although you might not see much of her out on the scenes , know that she is the driving force behind our kitchen. Krystal Ashford is not only the wife but also the mother of Chris Ashford's only 2 children , Christian and Krisalyn Ashford. You can also catch Krisalyn Ashford working at the restaurant running the register or helping her mother in the kitchen from time to time.

Meet the team

We are family owned and operated.

We are no stranger to knowing how hard it is to work with family sometimes but we also know that there is no stronger bond than a love and trust between you and your loved ones.

That is why not only have we continued to be 100 % family owned with no investors but also why we treat our customers as our own. We believe that a community that works together thrives together.

Chris Ashford
Owner/senior pit master
Junior Pit Master
Edward Ashford
Chris's father

Visit our facebook page @bbqlifebychris and see our stories & share your delicious moments with us.