Robb Richmond, President
+1 262 352 6437
PO Box 596, La Veta, CO, 81055
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I really looked forward to my father's company picnics for two reasons. First, I was allowed to play softball with the adults, and second, and most importantly, I got to eat Old Man Cooper's BBQ!!! I looked forward to these events all year long. Then one year the BBQ at the picnic just wasn't anywhere near to being as good.....I found out that the old man had died, and a "substitute BBQ" was served. Over the years, I sampled other BBQ locations in Albuquerque. I eventually realized that if I wanted to eat anything close to Cooper's, I was going to have to produce it myself.
So the mission started….
Over the next several years I kept trying this and that with mixed results. One of the "that's" was a tip I picked up from a couple of old guys serving BBQ at a softball tournament I was in. They opened my eyes to the process being as important as the ingredients.
Over the next 10 years I kept toying with my recipe. Then one Easter Sunday, I came up with what is now the foundation of Robb's Ribbs Original BBQ sauce....I had to tweak a few ingredients for the restaurant version, but I now standardized a definitive recipe.
During the years of experimenting with the sauce, I also tried different smoking mediums.....from corn cobs and pecan shells, to assorted woods. Old Man Cooper used oak for his smoke, and this is where I started. Making a smoker from an old hot water heater, I was on my way. Ultimately, I found a four wood blend that enhanced my sauce. I'm a firm believer that not all sauces go with every wood smoke flavor. I’ve traveled around the USA and in other countries and found that good BBQ is where you find it!
Robb's Ribbs Restaurant
After finally coming up with a BBQ sauce that was close to Old Man Cooper’s, I had an opportunity to start a restaurant. My first location was a sub-lease from a woman with a catering truck. I had access to a nice kitchen, and space for about 5 tables.
During this period I began bottling my BBQ sauce for retail and I started thinking of the future of my business.
Then it happened, the State of New Mexico was doing a promotion on food,travel, and tourism. They asked local food producers to enter a competition for their goods to be displayed at Bloomingdale's NYC Department Store. Lo’ and behold, my BBQ sauce was chosen, along with my smokin’ chips and Ribb Rubb.
This was certainly incentive to re-locate and I got my own space. With my own space, I would get in early, bottle 4 cases of BBQ sauce in the morning, and then get to the main task of running a successful restaurant.
After returning from Bloomingdale’s, I realized that if I were ever to produce my BBQ sauce for large orders, I needed capacity to produce more than 4 cases at a time. I started looking for a co-packer that would follow my process while maintaining the original taste and quality of my hand-made batches.
After several tries I found a local facility with a tofu press that allowed us to properly strain the sauce after combining and cooking. We eventually found a way to simplify the process to allow large- scale production while maintaining the Robb’s Ribbs’ flavor.
The DRY BBQ Sauce
During this time, I became more involved in the BBQ sauce market, as well as other New Mexico produced foods. A group called The New Mexico Food Producers and Processors Association helped me gain experience. They, with additional assistance provided by the NM Department of Agriculture, provided funding so I could attend food shows both in the USA and internationally.
Attending food shows opened many doors, one of which was with Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA).Through this association, I promoted my products in Canada, Mexico and Australia.
While I was shipping BBQ sauce to New Zealand and Australia, I came up with a dry BBQ sauce that wouldn’t require me to ship glass and liquid half -way across the planet.
With the help of a spice company in Denver, we formulated a pretty tasty dry original BBQ sauce mix. All you needed to do was to add the liquid of your choice,( like water and a little beer) and simmer for about 5 minutes. It was a great idea, but as my restaurant became more successful it took priority, and the dry sauce idea sat on the back burner... until recently.
Having retired from the restaurant business after a successful 18 years, and being asked by former patrons for my sauce and rubb recipes, I have circled back to the idea of dry sauces and started developing my new product line. In addition to my Original BBQ Sauce dry mix, I have had my Carolina BBQ sauce dry formulated.
Both the Original Sauce mix and the Carolina BBQ sauce mix are available for purchase.
And Now.. The BBQ Glazes
While developing the BBQ sauce mixes, I kept thinking of my show at the Bloomingdale’s NYC store. As much as people liked the products, city-dwellers wouldn’t have the equipment in their apartments or balconies to grill or smoke the meats. I started thinking of how to get that real BBQ flavor without using a smoker or grill.
Having the dry BBQ sauces got my wheels turning. Why not expand on this idea, and create something truly unique! I looked into the multitude of dry ingredients available (truly amazing!) and requested samples to work with..
After several attempts I created a dry BBQ “glaze” which when applied to a raw slab of pork ribbs and baked slowly in your oven, produces a delectable smoky, BBQ flavor, without using a grill or smoker! It is amazing how simple this product is to use and produce great results!.
Now the wheels are still turning. The use of the glaze for ribbs seemed to be somewhat limited, so I started thinking of other possible applications. When applied to a burger patty, you produce a nice caramelized crust, however it is necessary to just “finish” the patty, applying the glaze to the patty once it is flipped, then repeat the process.
The glaze can also be mixed into the ground meat, then form patties and cook either on a grill, flat-top or in a skillet. This eliminated the delicate step of finishing the patty with the exterior glaze finish.
Other applications have been for salmon, onions, pork belly, taco filling. We are just beginning to explore its uses. So let your imagination go wild….try it out!