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This ‘Bad Granny’ is smoking mouth-watering BBQ in Plymouth

 This ‘Bad Granny’ is smoking mouth-watering BBQ in Plymouth

Jan Jeczen, a retired Detroit police officer and lifelong barbeque smoker, launched Bad Granny’s Barbeque in late-2023.

On her 50th birthday 10 years ago, Jan Jeczen spotted a red Ford Mustang GT while driving in Columbus, Ohio, where she was the general manager of a well-known national restaurant.

A retired Detroit police officer, Jeczen fell in love with the vehicle at first sight.

“I followed the car as it pulled into a Ford dealership,” Jeczen recalled. “A salesman came out, I pointed to the car (which was being serviced by the dealership) and told him, ‘I want to buy one of those’.”

Not long after the purchase was completed, Jeczen returned to her restaurant where she was greeted by her admiring employees.

‘Bad Granny’ is a great BBQ smoker

“They had jokingly started calling me ‘Grandma’ because I had just turned 50,” Jeczen explained, smiling. “They told me I needed to try get a personalized license plate that read ‘BADGMA’ for ‘Bad Grandma’.”

Smoked meat like this helped make Jan Jeczen the top producer in southeast Michigan for the workplace lunch service Fooda
Smoked meat like this helped make Jan Jeczen the top producer in southeast Michigan for the workplace lunch service Fooda

She followed their advice — and that’s the rest of the story (part of it, at least) of how Plymouth’s newest smoked barbecue restaurant secured its name.

Jeczen told the story Thursday afternoon as she sat in a booth at Bad Granny’s Barbeque, which she officially launched Nov. 1 at 44741 File Mile Road in Plymouth Township.

In 2020, Jeczen purchased a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise that operated in the same location.

Smokin’ new venture

After a legal dispute over how Dickey’s was withholding her profits (Dickey’s was ultimately ordered by a court to reimburse Jeczen for the income she asserted they owed her), she made the bold decision to open her own restaurant.

Following the same principles she used to vault her Dickey’s franchise to the No. 1 sales ranking in southeast Michigan for Fooda (a national workplace lunch platform), the ambitious Jeczen rebranded the Plymouth Township space and opened for business last month.

Along with Bad Granny food items, the business also serves items off the Daddy’s Patties brand’s menu.

Appetizing aroma

Judging by the heavenly aroma of slow smoking ribs that flowed through the restaurant Thursday afternoon, this Bad Granny is a Great Smoker.

“When I first purchased the Dickey’s franchise, they sent me to Texas for three weeks to teach me how to smoke,” Jeczen recalled. “It turns out I didn’t learn a thing because I already knew how to smoke meat. My mom was a great cook.

Bad Grannys is located at 44741 Five Mile Road in Plymouth Township
Bad Grannys is located at 44741 Five Mile Road in Plymouth Township

“She never told me I was a better cook than her, but she’d say, ‘The food you cook is just as great as my best stuff’.”

Jeczen chuckled at the memory.

Profitable operator

Jeczen’s 2023 sales exceeded $1.6 million — a testament to her meat-smoking knowledge and business-operating habits.

“First of all, you have to treat your employees well,” Jeczen said, when asked for her keys to success. “If you treat them with respect and pay them a good wage, they’ll do everything for you.

“Secondly, you have to be present in your business, which I am constantly. Customers like to see a familiar face. I’ve even had first-time customers come in, see me and say, ‘You must be Bad Granny’. And I’ll say, ‘Yep, that’s me’.”

It doesn’t hurt either that Bad Granny’s offers a robust menu that includes Jeczen’s renowned smoked meats, sides, salads and desserts — all of which, she emphasized, are prepared fresh every morning.

As an added bonus for dine-in customers, free self-serve ice cream is provided.

“People absolutely love our ribs,” she said. “And our brisket flies out the door.”

She’ll take the food to you

In addition to offering a comfortable, well-decorated restaurant for dine-in-customers, Jeczen’s business thrives at pop-up food stands that she schedules through Fooda, and her employees set up for lunches at large southeast-Michigan businesses.

“We average about two to three pop-ups every workday,” she said.

Jeczen is excited to hold a grand opening in the coming weeks, once her new exterior sign arrives.

Bad Granny’s dine-in customers who tell their server they read this article on SocialHouseNews.com will receive a free side and a drink if they order a sandwich.

Bad Granny’s is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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