Owner: Matt Finlay
The Goods: Texas Style BBQ
What to know: This thriving food truck is catering, rolling on the streets, and starting a new chapter with a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Walking up to the Finlay’s trailer, your senses awaken with the smell of true Texas BBQ coming from the extensive Texas-sized trailer.
Inside you will find Matt Finlay and his wife Victoria, or one of their employee serving up authentic BBQ delicacies including ribs, brisket, sausage, and more to curb your meaty cravings.
Cooking since he was a boy with his grandfather and uncles, Matt grew up familiar in the kitchen and utilized that knowledge to open up his BBQ food truck in 2017.
Starting with the vision of a BBQ food truck as a side-hustle, Matt searched for an adequate trailer setup to fit what he had in mind. While searching, a custom-made trailer out of Georgia came available. Built from the specs of a restaurant owner who no longer needed it, Matt jumped on the opportunity and bought it to operate his food truck dream. With a few tweaks to make it his own, permits in place and groceries in the fridge, Finlay’s BBQ and Catering was up and ready to roll onto the streets.
Starting while still working his full-time job, Matt was staying busy on the streets each weekend and getting booked for catering jobs. “I basically don’t know how to say ‘no’ when people call me,” Finlay said of the endeavor and filling up his schedule then, and now.
“I’m just a firm believer in–the harder you work, the more it’s going to pay off in the end,” says Finlay. That hustle mentality had Finlay’s consistently booked and allowed Matt to quit his job and focus on his passion, all in just six short months.
Matt has grown Finlay’s into a thriving food truck. They take on contracts for oilfield companies and more, sometimes having five caterings a day but always managing to deliver. He had to enlist his wife full-time to help manage their full schedule along with two additional employees. Their BBQ is in hot demand.
While sticking to what he knows and loves, you can find him smoking conventional BBQ meats along with a hog or two, but also getting creative when the opportunity comes along.
Set up one night at Shack in the Back alongside a fellow food truck friend, Down South Seafood, the two decided to toss a few uncooked alligators in the smoker and serve it up late in the night to hungry guests. It turned out to be a crowd hit and has been one of the more exotic meats he has smoked to date.
A little over a year and a half into the thriving food truck with stories to share, on the job expertise under his belt, and the entrepreneur spirit still brewing, some bigger dreams started to flourish.
Finlay chuckles as he recalls how his newest pursuit came to fruition. Enjoying another evening set up at Shack in the Back, his now-partner admired the Finlay’s BBQ food truck and shared with Matt the aspirations of owning a BBQ establishment. Matt pitched the idea of partnering up and going in on a building location and new business. Already having a place in mind, Finlay invited his partner out the next day to see the building in Midland and share his vision for the restaurant.
Just two days after throwing out the idea, the pair had the building secured and were ready to get the ball rolling. Having a partner in the business, Matt could speed up what would have been a long build-up to a full restaurant. Instead, they got the building ready for customers in just two short months.
Opening Saturday, August 24th, you can come out and celebrate The Rusty Bucket BBQ and Tavern, the newest BBQ joint in Midland.
Finlay and his partner decided to go big by booking Texas Country artist, Mark McKinney and having a concert to commemorate. Enjoy an evening with friends, some Texas-style BBQ until 8 pm, and great music starting at 7 pm!
Tickets are $15 at the door, and it’s BYOB with a $20 cooler charge per group.
You can continue to enjoy live music throughout the month as The Rusty Bucket hopes to host bands regularly for their guests to enjoy.
Preparing the restaurant has kept him busy this summer, but you will still find the same Finaly’s BBQ you love on the streets. Now it will include a new logo on the side.
Matt plans to keep up the food truck which will now be called The Rusty Bucket BBQ and hopes to have it out more often on the streets of Midland. He will be finding a balance with the help of his team between the restaurant, catering, and the food truck.
Find out when he will be out again by favoriting Finlay’s BBQ and Catering on the app, and make plans this weekend to celebrate their Grand Opening!