After two combat deployments to Iraq, as a United States Marine, the Hearty Hog's owner and his wife (co-owner) decided to move to Tennessee to start a new life, no longer affected by war. Wishing to take advantage of the "American dream," they wanted to start a small business; however, the recession struck country, made it unfeasible at the time. Capitalizing on his military background, he began a law enforcement career as a corrections officer, while going to college full time at Middle Tennessee State University. He bought his first smoker in 2008, which began a necessary therapeutic hobby for the combat veteran,
who also worked the stressful life of law enforcement. He later became a Patrol Deputy, continuing his hobby, experimenting until he perfected the art of "low and slow" cooked meats. Once he was satisfied with the BBQ, and receiving outstanding feedback from family and friends, he and his wife decided to start BBQ benefits for St. Jude, with all the raised money going directly to the Children's hospital. The support for St. Jude began after his wife ran her first half-marathon with the St. Jude Heroes running group in 2012. Following his passion, they began creating an innovative "outside the box" approach to traditional BBQ, igniting the dream of starting a business once again. In 2016, they decided to start a BBQ food truck. Using his law enforcement co-workers as "food samplers" during training events, he continued to gain positive feedback. His decision to follow his dream was solidified while catering for the Federal Bureau of Investigations Academy Associates, at the Carnton Plantation (Franklin, Tennessee). This was the largest group he ever cooked for, and during this event, several members told him that he was "in the wrong business," meaning law enforcement. He was strongly encouraged to sell BBQ for a living. This was the moment, that really sparked the fire for the Hearty Hog.