Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Thompson
Checking-in with WCA Class of 2000 alum Ashley Thompson makes us want to plan a road trip! Ashley is the owner and operator of Legacy Barbecue, based out of Jacksonville, NC. He currently operates a food truck during the week and provides catering services as well.
We’re always interested-in the paths our alumni take to establish their careers, and Ashley got his start through small catering jobs and BBQ competitions. It was a team effort with his partner, best friend, and fellow WCA alum Jeremy Murfin. Ashley reflects, “We enjoyed cooking on grills and smokers and began to do catering upon request.” Ashley and Jeremy considered making barbecue a full-time business. Sadly, their plans changed in August 2017, when Ashley lost his best friend to a brain tumor. Jeremy’s life continued to inspire Ashley, as he kept pursuing their dream.
Ashley’s BBQ skills began to attract national attention and he was featured on the “American Barbecue Showdown” Netflix series, filmed in Georgia. Ashley says, “As a business owner, I have had to take on many different roles that WCA helped to prepare me for. Business has always been an interest of mine, and I can remember back to Ms. Price’s Business Math class, and that has helped me a great deal in life.”
We often hear alumni express appreciation for their teachers and the positive impact of their education on their lives well after graduation. Ashley shares that, “Wake Christian Academy was a very special place for me growing up. I still have good friends I went to school with that I talk to almost daily. I tell people all the time, if it weren’t for WCA, I don’t know where I would be in life. The people at WCA have a passion for students and that shows. I’m thankful for every teacher and staff member who treated me with love during my time there. Legacy Barbecue has deep roots that begin at Wake Christian Academy. I am proud to be the owner, and proud to say that I’m a lifelong Bulldog supporter!”
Now we’re hungry, and we want to sample Ashley’s Legacy Barbeque menu soon!