Smo-King Pit

Michael and Michelle Citchens, Owners

Northwoods Mall
222 W. War Memorial Dr
Suite 206
Peoria, IL 61613

Michael Citchens has come a long way in business. From his start as a River Station bus boy fresh out of high school to the owner of one of the best Black-owned businesses in Peoria, he has gathered a lot of wisdom along the way.

Michael, along with his wife, Michelle, owns their business. He says Michelle never questioned and jumped right in with him. Michael’s dad was a farmer of 250 acres in Clarksdale, MS. Michael says working with family works. Three children and his son-in-law round out his staff.

Though he is sometimes faced with ‘isms’, Michael relies on his faith to get through it. 

“The impact because I am Christian is minimal,” said Michael. “I want potential customers to know that we are family owned and local. We enjoy what we do and want to build relationships.”

Smo-King Pit - ExtraThe Smo-King Pit offers its original bar-b-que sauce that is bottled and sold in Chicago. Everything is made fresh, on-site.

 Mr. Citchens would advise younger people in business to listen to their elders.  

“They know it and they lived through it,”  said Micheal. “I have never bought an advertisement in 15-years. Face-to-face and word-of-mouth have helped my business thrive.” 

Michael enjoys helping Peoria’s Black community. He grew up benefitting from the South Side Mission and now gives back. He is a Board Member of Youth for Christ – Urban Sector.

Now, Michael says he is looking forward to what he can offer as a member of Discover Peoria.

Click here for their business information.

Blown Away Balloons

This youthful Black woman, Shatiya has set her sights on building a balloon business founded on creativity and decorating.  Read More arrow

Young's Popcorn Heaven

This fun-loving couple makes up the team that offers the Peoria area over 50 flavors of freshly made popcorn. Read More arrow

World on Wheels Segway Tours and Bike Rides

Looking for outdoor fun the whole family will love? Then meet Lynnette Lee at the Peoria Riverfront. Read More arrow