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Jack Cooley turns hobby into new career

Retirement just doesn’t sit well with some people.

When Jack Cooley retired from Alfa Insurance after 25 years service in 2002 he picked up a new hobby — competitive barbeque.

Now, six years removed from the labor force, he’s picked up a new career.

Cooley’s barbeque takeout restaurant, J.C.’s Carry Out Bar-B-Q, opened its doors this week and realized Cooley’s post-retirement dreams.

“After I retired, I designed my own cooking rig and started doing a lot of barbeque competitions and some catering,” said Cooley, who also serves as a Demopolis city councilman in District 5. “After I got into it, I really wanted to open a barbeque restaurant.”

As the years passed Cooley satisfied his barbeque aspirations through his involvement with the Christmas On the River cook-off, serving as event organizer for the past five years.

But that itch to own and operate his own establishment never went away, thus paving the way for J.C.’s grand opening Tuesday inside Parr’s Convenience Store at the corner of Highway 80 West and Maria Ave.

J.C.’s Carry Out Bar-B-Q is open Monday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.