Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ at Yandina, which has fast become the most popular joint for masses of hungry mouths. Photo: Patrick Woods
Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ at Yandina, which has fast become the most popular joint for masses of hungry mouths. Photo: Patrick Woods

The secret behind Smoken Dog BBQ’s stunning success

It's a barbecue meat feast made out of a small kitchen from a whole lot of love that has been embraced by an entire hungry township.

Once a hidden gem, the Smoken Dog BBQ joint at Yandina is now so popular, it churns out 300kg of ribs every week.

Husband and wife owners Dave and Dineo Levell couldn't tell you how many mouths they feed a week but know it's in the hundreds.

Their shop on Fleming St, Yandina, is only open three days a week, but once the tray on the food truck goes down, the locals come in droves.

For good reason, it's ribs, brisket, chicken, burgers on the cheap, all smoked to perfection in home made sauces for hours at a time.

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Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ with the menu behind them. Photo: Patrick Woods
Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ with the menu behind them. Photo: Patrick Woods

"It's about having fun, doing what we love. Dave is the guru and I make it work. He is the one who comes up with all the recipes," Mrs Levell said.

"I believe we put smiles on people's faces.

"We love Yandina and they love us.

"There's so much character here, everyone helps each other out.

"So just drop in to say hi, they like being part of the Smoken Dog family."

In the 30 minute interview and photo shoot at the Smoken Dog site, no less than three hopeful customers turned up in vehicles praying it was open.

While they had to turn around, you just knew they'd be back.

"Oh we have people coming here from everywhere," Mr Levell said.

"A couple come from Gympie every week, Brisbane, Caboolture, all over the place.

"Sometimes the line of cars is way down the street.

"My wife is loved by everyone, she is the front of it, people come just to see her."

Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ churn through 300kg of ribs every week. Photo: Patrick Woods
Dineo and Dave Levell of Smoken Dog BBQ churn through 300kg of ribs every week. Photo: Patrick Woods

Smoken Dog started out in a standard food truck three years ago, operating out of festivals and events.

With approval from Sunshine Coast Council, they were allowed to remain in Yandina when the pandemic hit.

During that time the business grew by "300 per cent".

"We were very blessed, all the safety measures we put in place worked a treat," Mr Levell said.

"A lot of it was simply down to serving our food out of pizza boxes. That was the safest way.

"We aren't a million-dollar shop, we're a tin shed but we serve million-dollar food."

The recent success has given the couple new expansion goals, but the old fashioned, simple flavour will stay the same.


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