Clay Coleman opened C.H.O.P., or Clay’s House of Pig, as a way to bring additional income to his bait and tackle shop during the winter months.

TUPELO • The Food Network says Clay’s House of Pig has the best ribs in the state.

“I didn’t even know anything about it,” Clay Coleman, owner of C.H.O.P., said Monday. “These two guys drove up today from Memphis and said they had come to the restaurant to get some good food.”

Coleman said he asked the men if they’d found about him on Google or Facebook and they said no, that they’d just read about it in some article.

“I said, ‘I haven’t even seen that. I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” Coleman said. “And then a bit later, this random guy sends me a link to the Food Network website with the article out of the blue.”

The article names the best rib joint in every state in the country, from restaurants to food trucks.

“When I’m showing out, it’s the ribs I put out there, but I think my brisket is the best thing I’ve got on the menu,” Coleman said.

He figures he goes through 48 racks of ribs a week at his bait shop-turned-restaurant on Veterans Boulevard in Tupelo and sells out most days by 2 p.m.

“I’ve been featured in U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, Food and Wine and now the Food Network,” Coleman said. “That’s kind of a big thing. I never expected this.”

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