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Jordan Wright

Jordan Wright, 38

Founder & CEO

Wright's Barbecue

Fayetteville

Professional achievements
• Built the state’s strongest barbecue brand in eight years going from a food truck to four brick-and-mortar locations as well as a strong presence in Razorback athletic venues.

Community involvement
Support Potter’s House in northwest Arkansas and Hogs for the Cause; member of Cross Church of Fayetteville; help schoolteachers and schools with fundraising activities.

Most valuable lesson learned
“Never stop loving people. They are the most important and valuable part of a team. Your guests or customers are the lifeblood of your business, so truly caring for your people allows them to truly care about their guests when they come in the store.”

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“Farmers leaving the farm. We need to protect the family farm and incentivize locally owned farms to stay owned by Arkansans.”

Professional inspiration
“To build the strongest company that values our team members and guests better than anyone in the world.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“The people #1. Stuttgart for 60 days #2” (ducking-hunting season).

Learning from a mentor
“My main mentor is my dad, Lynn Wright. He has taught me to trust my instincts and not waver from doing what’s right. It’s really easy to question yourself when you’re launching a business and growing it as fast as my team has. He has always reminded me to stick to what got us there, and that’s being wise with our resources and taking care of our people and guests above everything else. When I want to change a process or a strategy that is dramatically different from what we have done, he has given the ear to listen and understand and provide guidance on how to stay true to who we are.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“Opening the Wright’s Barbecue in my hometown of Little Rock.”

First job and lesson learned
“My first job was mowing lawns when I was 15. I learned the value of doing things others weren’t doing. It would have been easy to sleep in and not wake up throughout the summers instead of waking up and mowing through hot summer days in Little Rock.”

Professional “aha” moment
“A few years ago I was considering my time at Tyson Foods and where I was at today and came to the realization that success comes over time and is not immediate. There is no magic wand to the position or career results you dream about. You must keep working hard, doing the right things, serving others and being an indispensable team member who can be trusted. Then at the end of the line you will look back on a life that honored God with your work and how you treated others, and the accomplishments will be secondary to that.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Your time is coming. Don’t worry about honors or accolades because it’s the people you impact that matter more than a line in a magazine or paper.”

Career dream as a child
“To play in the NFL.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“Better restaurants, nightlife, great local live music that can sustain local artists to live here and record.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“In Donald W. Reynolds, Bud Walton and Baum looking at National Championship trophies.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“Explore the world as much as you can, go work in a foreign country, cook everything, be in kitchens.”

How you define success
“Success to me is defined by how you live your life. Are people better off because they spent time around you? Did you do your best to serve others and put them first in your endeavors? Did you do the right thing when faced with a trial? Did you respond well through adversity without compromising your integrity? If you can shut the doors on your life and answer those questions then that’s success.”

One word to describe you
“Passionate.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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