Charles Buster Davis, owner of Busters Southern BBQ and known affectionately around town as Buster, came to Calistoga to visit a friend 20 years ago and never left. Although he’s been firing up the grill and serving hungry customers ever since, running a business in Calistoga was not part of his original life plan.
“I was semi-retired and came to Calistoga at the invitation of a former customer,” Buster told Visit Calistoga. “I’ve been in the food industry for over 50 years now and started out by selling fruit and produce to one of the large black brokers in northern and southern California, starting with strawberries and later moving to more fruit. From there, Buster established a shop with his mom and later decided to hone his cooking skills and acquired his cooking certificate. This led to his first foray in barbeque when he opened a business with his brother. But less than a month in, Buster bought out his brother and when he moved to Calistoga, the BBQ business came with him! As did, not surprisingly, his produce selection.
How does Buster spend his free time when he isn’t monitoring the grill and overseeing operations at the restaurant? “I like to cook and I make almost anything. I love meat and BBQ (of course!) and bicycle rides with my dog Noble (a rescue from Mexico)”. Buster is also very much into sustainability at the restaurant and handles all the trash collection himself and use only biodegradable dishes for dumping and recycling. “This saves our associate, Precious, from doing dishes”, Buster notes with a smile.
We asked Buster what our hashtag #thisisCalistoga means to him- “prosperity and opportunity” he stated emphatically. Next time you visit Calistoga, take the turn for Busters, get yourself some ribs (and a jar of Buster’s homemade BBQ sauce) check out the produce stand out front and enjoy yourself at one of their many picnic tables. This is Calistoga, after all.
This Is Calistoga is our new blog series profiling our members, their stories and life in Calistoga. Check in regularly and follow along.