The memories go back to when I was a ‘young buck’ growing up in the country of rural southern Virginia.
I spent some of the best times of my life on my grandparent’s farm, developing a taste for the craft of barbecue, as taught to me by my Granddaddy. He was a butcher in addition to operating a working farm. Despite all the work and chores, he somehow found time to smoke cuts of meat for our large family, friends, and neighbors that would gather at the farm for a good meal, or ‘shindig’ as he called them.
A simple man, his barbecue pit was handmade from old cinder blocks leftover from a farm project and fired by hand-split oak hardwood. I can still see him in my mind, using his trusty shovel from the nearby burn-barrel to methodically place the glowing smoking coals into the makeshift firebox. While the smoker was getting going, he would mix up a dry rub or sauce from scratch, each perfectly paired to the cut of meat. There were no fancy names yet for his magical meat potions. He would say, “go ask Grandma for the ingredients for the spicy rub and the red sauce,” or “for supper, let’s make the sweet rub and a sauce from that apricot jam we had at breakfast.”
Time passed, and we continued to share the bond of smoking meats and wood-fire barbecue. Over the years, I learned the recipes and got to play a larger role in the ritual of preparing home sides, sauces, and dry rubs from the family recipe collection using honest to goodness, real ingredients. He would holler, “Hey Buck! Come taste this!” To him, it was a simple request, but to me, it became a badge of honor. You could always count on a packed table when a shindig was going on and on the rave reviews that would come from guests who suggested he bottle and sell his sauces and rubs. He would usually just smile and laugh, simply happy our guests left with full bellies and in good spirits.
Fast forward to 2015, all grown up with a family of my own, a wood-fire barbecue addiction, and even a few BBQ championships to show for my obsession. One day it hit me that the connection I shared with my own friends and family was BBQ related in one way or another. Then came the day, at one of my ‘shindigs,’ a guest asked me why I don’t bottle and sell my rubs and sauces. So, with no expectations, I did. I dusted off the old family recipe books, mixed up a few, and shared them with my friends, who shared them with their friends, and on down the line. People liked them! Slowly but surely, and alongside my business partner Christine, a hobby became a real business.
“Little did I know what would be the start of a new legacy. It all began when I dined in the Brocmar Smokehouse Restaurant, Known for the best barbecue in town. Gary’s Family secret recipes kept customers lined up in droves for a taste of pure deliciousness. That’s when I knew the world needed to taste these authentic artesian sauces and rubs that families and friends would enjoy, and neighbors would envy.”
– Christine Smithson, Co-Founder – President
Well, that about catches you up. What started as a collection of hand-me-down family recipes has now turned into the Brocmar Smokehouse brand of sauces, dry rubs, smoker grills, tools, and bbq supplies. You see, early on, while initially built on the success of our sauces and rubs, we got lots of questions on everything else that goes into the art of barbecue; types of pits, wood/pellets, charcoal, tools, and accessories, you name it. I didn’t want any of these to become barriers for our customers in recreating the real Southern BBQ experience in their own neck of the woods. Our customers can count on all of our supplies as tested for tried and true flavor and performance, right down to our line of American made, real US steel, smoker grills. So go on, get out there and start your own traditions, make your mark on the craft of barbecue, create those taste memories your friends and loved ones will look back on and associate with your legacy. What are you waiting for? Brocmar Smokehouse has your back.