5:10 PM Derek , 1 Comment
The origin story of Pork Barrel BBQ is probably the most remarkable of any company I've worked with thus far. Founders, Brett Thompson and Heath Hall worked on Capitol Hill together as senate staffers. Their shared love of BBQ was the focus of many chats as the pair burned the midnight oil during Senate sessions.
For nearly two years, Pork Barrel BBQ was just an abstract concept that the two Missouri natives dreamed about. Despite a severe economic downturn in late 2008, Heath and Brett took a shot and officially found Pork Barrel BBQ in December. Given the economic climate, the business started quite strong. It didn't take long before Pork Barrel landed multiple regional retail accounts.
Their big break came in the form of a phone call from the producers of ABC's Shark Tank. Out of the blue, Brett and Heath were invited to pitch their company to prospective investors in front of millions of TV viewers. Almost overnight, Pork Barrel BBQ had hit the big time.
Pork Barrel BBQ products can now be purchased at major retailers all over the country. In addition to their array of products, they also formed a championship level competition team and opened up their first restaurant in Alexandria, VA. Though they've grown from a small partnership to a nationally recognized company, Brett and Heath are still fully involved in the operation with no future plans of returning to the Hill.
The guys were cool enough to send me samples of their three sauces (Sweet, Original and Mustard), spice rub and BBQ peanuts. The peanuts barely made it through our front door before I cracked their seal. Pork Barrel partnered with Ferdies, a family operated producer of gourmet peanuts and foods to distribute their BBQ Peanuts.
These jumbo peanuts are slow roasted in peanut oil and lightly seasoned with Pork Barrel's BBQ rub. The roasted nuts made for a delicious salty, savory snack. They weren't over seasoned and the salt content was just enough to keep me reaching for. They disappeared by the handful.
If the peanuts are any indication of the quality of product that Pork Barrel produces, their sauces and rub should be a real treat. I'm looking forward to sampling and reviewing them all. For more information about Pork Barrel BBQ, click the title of this review. You can also see how I rated the BBQ Peanuts on the "Product Reviews" page.