There are stores that sell everything under the sun (including select BBQ items) online and then there is the BBQ Pro Shop that ONLY sells BBQ items. They have done an incredible job of positioning themselves as a place where small batch (or as they like to call them “micro rubs and sauces”) have a home to really shine individually. Owner Jeff Belmonti told me, “We feel like the more that we carry, the more people can try in one shipment.” Currently they sell an amazing 60 Rubs and 40 Sauces as well as other items and for full disclosure, it is because of their huge array of unique products and top notch customer service that we have them as a sponsor on my site.
BBQ Pro Shop is also the place to find only the best quality Barbecue utensils, accessories,and smokers. They bring with them years of experience in working with some of the best smokers and grillers in the business and strive to carry only the highest quality products. I love their motto, “We would not sell anything we do not use ourselves.”
Here’s some more info about the owners, Gretchen and Jeff:
Growing up Jeff worked at Poeta’s Food Mart in Highwood, IL. Famous for it’s homemade italian sausage, Jeff worked Highwood Days as a teenager and grilled thousands of sausages and marinated skirt steaks that were sold at the festival for Poeta’s. Jeff worked as a caterer and grilled for Poeta’s as well. He learned to make Italian sausage, de-bone chicken breasts and trim beef tenderloins. His Poppy taught him to BBQ on the gas grill that was always on the deck at his childhood home and he often grilled for the family.
Gretchen moved to Chicago from Buffalo and met Jeff while working for Elizabeth Karmel and learned the art of grilling from the master. Gretchen worked on the Weber Grill account for many years and honed her skills in cooking attending many James Beard dinners and learning how to grill from Elizabeth and the many experts they came in contact with. Gretchen taught Jeff that there was more to life than skirt steak, burgers, sausage and chicken breasts. Gretchen took Jeff to the world famous Memphis in May BBQ Contest and their life changed forever.
Gretchen and Jeff began to grill together after getting married in 2000 and they honed their skills, getting their first Primo Smoker and learning to smoke ribs, chicken and sausage. They love to grill everything and the only thing that goes in the oven is stuff that just will not work on the grill. (Mostly chicken fingers for their two children) Jeff has mastered ribs and is working on smoked brisket. Their specialty is beer can chicken and their annual Thanksgiving feast which includes BBQ Turkey, always cooked on the grill, never in the oven and many racks of smoked baby back ribs. Ribs became a tradition because Gretchen’s father Harold was not a fan of turkey. Now the ribs are the biggest hit and the crowd grows every year.
BBQ Pro Shop was born out of a love for BBQ smoking and grilling. We kept finding all of these wonderful products that we used every time we grilled and could not find anywhere to buy them on a consistent basis. Now we have a stock room full of Willingham’s, Sarah’s Sea Salt, Reniassance Rub, 17th Street Sauces and Grill Friends tools which comes in handy. BBQ Pro Shop is our gift back to the world of BBQ, we have had the pleasure of knowing the love and fellowship of the BBQ community and sharing that with the world is our mission.
I’d recommend stopping in to see what they have to offer. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you find.