Market BBQ and Smokehouse owner and founder, Jamie Martin is no stranger to the
restaurant industry. His childhood was spent in the kitchen of his father’s and uncle’s restaurant where Jamie learned both the passion and dedication to run his own operation.
However; his first official kitchen job, was not at the family restaurant, but as a short order cook at a popular soccer pub, The Duke of Gloucester in Toronto, Ontario. Jamie thrived in the busy environment, but his dream, was to open a place that he could call his own. “I wanted to open up my own restaurant so I could learn all aspects of the business and control my own destiny,” said Jamie.
And so, Jamie, returned to his, hometown, Barrie, for inspiration and to open his first business, the family entertainment centre, Retro Planet. This unique venue combines an arcade-like environment, mini putt, and laser tag with a quick-service restaurant servicing kid-friendly fare like burgers, pizza, and chicken tenders. However; his mind was still churning about which full-service restaurant would best suit this evolving city.
Jamie was stumped on why you couldn’t find a buffet that offered both great value and home-cooked comfort food in Canada. And so, the seed that would soon grow to become Market Buffet was planted. In fact, the doors of the new restaurant opened on September 15th, 2005, just a year after Retro Planet. “It was a great moment,” shared Jamie. “But we were so busy I almost didn’t have any time to think about the whirlwind of emotions I was feeling at the time.” Over the years, Jamie has expanded the buffet line up, including a full taco bar, favourite comfort foods, decadent desserts made in house, and their own line of sauces.
Wanting to provide even more to the Barrie community, in 2015, the Market Buffet went through a facelift, which included the addition of two commercial smokers. “We started smoking everything you could get your hands on,” said Jamie. “Where else can you get unlimited smoked meat?” The smoked meats and entrees, including smoked macaroni and cheese, have truly made the Market Buffet BBQ and Smokehouse, a buffet like no other.
Market continues to be a local family run business, with Jamie’s parents and brother playing active roles in the operation of the business. Jamie’s dream is to eventually expand the restaurant to multiple locations, but for now, he will continue to delight the Barrie community with homemade BBQ sauces, comfort food, and all you can eat smoked meat.