Dave Calvert, the Pitmaster behind the grill at San Tan Valley BBQ, grew up just north of San Francisco and was the friend who always hosted the party and loved to make sure everyone ate nothing but the best! After he got out of the army in his early 20’s, he headed back home and started working at the Peppermill and got back to his favorite pastime of making people happy with food. Over the years, he acquired quite the collection of grills, smokers and even a water smoker and spent his free time experimenting with different meats and keeping his friends well fed. When he eventually got into competing in National BBQ competitions, he was hooked! His many trophies are proof that he has perfected his skills but one bite from the truck and you won’t doubt that!
If you know Dave, you know him as a social butterfly that loves to chat, feed people and help out. Retired from the Town of Gilbert maintenance department, Dave is a piddler that’s always either fixing something, cooking something or helping someone. His wife Eva did what every smart woman does when her husband retires…she told him to get a hobby! With her store, Power Postal, in San Tan Valley, already selling his very popular BBQ rubs and sauces, she talked to him about starting a Food Truck to sell his BBQ…and the San Tan Valley BBQ truck was born!
His love for BBQ and helping others has led him to volunteer with Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit organization that provides meals to displaced residents and emergency personnel during times of natural and other disasters. (find more about Operation BBQ Relief here) His latest adventure with them was during the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa and Napa, CA in October 2017 where he went into evacuated areas and fed firefighters in the worst hit areas. He and the crew he was with fed 54,000 people in 8 days and helped emergency personnel stay focused on their job at hand.
Another way the Calvert’s are helping the community is in support of a good friend of theirs and her struggle with breast cancer. You will notice the ribbons on the front of the truck and sales from the truck often go to support the fight against breast cancer. Mr. Rogers so often told this story in his PBS days about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” Dave and Eva Calvert are people who are always helping, whether it be by helping in a disaster, helping a friend privately or helping us all eat amazing BBQ! Stop by the truck and say hi – they would love to chat with you and the food will never disappoint!