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Jared Leonard
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Jared Leonard

bbq supply co.


  

Jared Leonard created BBQ Supply Co. on the timeless traditions of wood-fired cooking, and from-scratch recipes, to bring Chicagoans a direct and authentic barbecue experience. BBQ Supply Co.’s meats are cooked low and slow and never sauced ahead of serving. From side

dishes to sauces, Jared and his team make all original recipes in-house—and that same level of care can also be found in the dining room. “We want our guests to feel like part of our barbecue family when we entertain you,” he says. “The idea is not just to feed you, but to inspire you to love barbecue as much as we do.”

 

The suburban Chicago native grew up in a household that always had something happening in
the kitchen. His family cooked every meal together, and Jared learned to preserve fruits and
vegetables, tend a garden, and bake at an early age. As an adult, Jared fell in love with barbecue
while living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. “I met some guys smoking pork butts on the
side of the road in this massive offset smoker,” he recalls. “The smells, the fire, the taste—it was
my first experience with real BBQ, and I was hooked.”

 

In 2010, Jared opened Rub BBQ with his wife, Amanda. They wanted to pair Amanda’s love for
hospitality and event planning with Jared’s love for American barbecue. The business evolved
into a full-service restaurant, catering operation, pitmaster training center, and event production
company, as well as laid the groundwork for Rock River BBQ Ranch: a riverside Bar-B-Q
retreat two hours north of Chicago in Rock County, WI. The Leonards rebranded to BBQ Supply
Co. in early 2017 to encompass the offerings. “We wanted our name to better represent what
we’ve grown into,” he says. “We’re not just a barbecue restaurant. We supply an entire barbecue
experience.”

 

Jared has taught more than 500 barbecue classes, has founded and produced the Windy City
BBQ Classic - Chicago’s only Kansas City BBQ Society certified competition. After falling for
hot chicken on a trip to Nashville (to attend a barbecue conference), he launched The Budlong
Hot Chicken in 2016, which will soon open its fourth Chicago location.

 

Family continues to stoke the fire of everything Jared brings to the table with his businesses. He
and Amanda live with their children Brighton, 7, and Austen, 5, in Chicago’s Lincoln Square
neighborhood.

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