Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last interview I had the opportunity to do face-to-face was in March. In upcoming weeks, one of the 126 weekly interviews that were previously published will be shared with readers. This article was originally published on Feb. 25, 2018.
Beth Burckley hails from the Cherry Hill/Collingswood area in New Jersey. It was there that she met Brian Howell, an Alabama native. The couple moved to Phoenixville after Beth spent a year commuting to the area for work. Beth and Brian fell in love with Phoenixville when visiting Brian’s sister’s family who moved the area when the couple had first starting dating.
Two years ago, their recuse pup named “Benson” joined the “B” family. He is named after a character on “Law & Order” — Olivia Benson.
During their early visits to Phoenixville, the “B”s spent time with Brian’s southern family watching college football and smoking a spread. It was from those early days that their business venture, Uncle B’s BBQ Shack was born. While Brian was really the cook, Beth can often be whipping up a sangria!
Beth and Brian are real go getters. Both love Phoenixville and believe in giving back especially considering the support they have received from the community in opening their business. They have been known to give back through their restaurant Uncle B’s by sponsoring fundraisers for the community. It all began with a roadside smoker in 2014. Soon they sublet at Fenice Crelo (the old Epicurean Restaurant) sharing the kitchen and selling BBQ out of the takeout area until it closed. They have been settled on Schuylkill Road in East Pikeland for 2 years now.
Beth works along with Brian as much as she can and continues a full-time career as a Behavior Analyst. Currently she is at The Vanguard School. Beth serves on the Board of the Phoenixville Jaycees. She is also involved with Ann’s Heart & Code Blue.
Beth was recently elected to a seat on the Phoenixville Borough Council for the Middle Ward. Her mother, Angela Burckley held the Bible as she was sworn into office. As a council member she chairs the Police, Personnel & Public Safety Committee. She is also a member of council’s Infrastructure Committee. Beth states she “we have a good team.” Through her work with the Jaycees, she has worked closely and is good friends with Peter Urscheler, the town’s newly elected Mayor.
Beth recalled when she first voted in a local election of 2001. She took her vivacious grandmother, Marie Introcaso with her to vote as Marie never missed any Election Day. Beth wishes she could share all her experiences on council with her late grandmother who was very civically engaged.
Beth has many visions for the future. She hopes to encourage others to get engaged within our community and ensure transparency. More entrepreneurial visions include a late-night window with rotating vendors in the downtown.
Beth’s Own Champagne Sangria
1 Pound Strawberries – hulled and sliced
1 Pomegranate Arils
2 (750 ml) Bottles Champagne
2 Blood Oranges- juiced
2 Blood Oranges sliced into half moons
½ Cup Pomegranate Juice (Beth likes POM)
¼ cup Blood Orange Liqueur (Beth likes Solerno)
In a large pitcher or mason jar, add strawberries and pomegranate arils. Add in juice of blood oranges, pomegranate juice, and blood orange liqueur. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow flavors to marry for at least 4 hours, up to 12. To serve, fill glass about 1/3 with sangria, add chilled champagne (optional: top with club soda, garnish with a strawberry and additional blood orange slices). Makes 8 servings.
Beth loves to make this in a mason jar and take as a hostess gift with a bottle of bubbly. She also likes to keep the mix separate for parties, so those who prefer another varietal of wine can also indulge.
UPDATE: Beth is happy serving the community and enjoy serving on the Phoenixville Borough Council. She has not decided if she will run again in 2022 with her busy schedule. Beth still works as Behavior Analyst at the Vanguard School. She had been working from home during the pandemic. She misses interaction with students and staff. She recently went back to her office at school. Beth loves her job and looks forward to utilizing new programming. Beth is involved with many community agencies and town projects. Currently she is the Jaycees’ President. Benson is now 4 years old and energetic as ever. Beth & Benson are still best buds. In July 2018 she joined Only Results Fitness. This led to a major change in her life. Through fitness and nutrition, she lost 110 lbs. It still is a struggle – but she is sticking to it. The results are a major change both physically and mentally. Uncle B’s keeps growing and has moved from East Pikeland to 425 Bridge Street in Phoenixville. The building was originally an old freight station that has been renovated to fit their needs. Beth stated that they were fortunate during the shutdown. They did take-out and had a fair amount of outdoor seating. Uncle B’s look forward to when things get back to normal.