Our Story

This is Roseville Back Forty ... and It All Began in a Poker Game.

In the mid-1960's, Michael Schroeder was in Austin, Texas, engaged in his favorite pastime. Another player, short on cash but long on nerve, covered Schroeder's bet by offering "half my restaurant." Schroeder's three 3's beat a pair of queens. When it was time to pay up, the owner of the barbeque restaurant insisted that he meant "half the space," not a "half interest." Schroeder's "half" was an empty room in the back.

Angered by the sleazy tactic, Schroeder collected his grandmother's classic barbeque recipes and set up a competing restaurant-within-a-restaurant.

Customers were made aware of the "shared-space" arrangement. And, although his seating space was limited to 40 people, his barbeque was so superior that patrons were soon asking to be seated in "the back forty". Business in the front section dwindled and Schroeder bought the restaurant, parlaying it into a successful barbeque chain.

In the early 1970's, he sold the restaurant and moved to Las Vegas to resume professional gambling. However, to assure some financial security, he opened an almost-duplicate restaurant. Remembering his loyal customer's phrase, he decided to call it "THE BACK FORTY" adding "TEXAS BBQ" for those connoisseurs of the Lone Star State version!

 
It was in Las Vegas where Schroeder met the Erb brothers ... Bill and Jeff ... Bay Area natives.  They were so impressed with his barbeque and the business opportunity, that they began planning a California Back Forty. After training extensively with Schroeder they founded the original California BACK FORTY in Pleasant Hill in December 1978.  In 1985 Jeff bought his brother's interest and set out to refine the menu and catering facilities. 

A consistent award-winner, and one of the nation's Top-24 Barbeque Teams, BACK FORTY has been invited to Reno every year since 1991 to compete in the National Rib Cook-Off.  Routinely voted the #1 Barbeque in California, BACK FORTY set a precedent in the national contest, being Voted #1 Four Times In A Row!

Twice in a row, separate panels of impartial judges voted BACK FORTY's BBQ Sauce #1 IN THE NATION.  In consecutive years, the 400,000 attendees sampling Barbeque Ribs from all over the nation twice voted Back Forty THE BEST.

Owners, Steve and Cheriece Troike, have extensive backgrounds in the restaurant industry.  A past working relationship with Back Forty president, Jeff Erb, led the Roseville residents to a business opportunity and the lifetime dream of finally owning their own restaurant.

After training at the Pleasant Hill location, they personally and painstakingly renovated and decorated their Roseville BACK FORTY location prior to the Grand Opening on July 10, 1995.

Welcome! Steve & Cheriece Troike.

Visit a BACK FORTY soon, and enjoy the made-from-scratch recipes of Grandma Schroeder!