Hey there BBQ Lovers! I'm back! So this past weekend I went to Annapolis for the Naptown barBayq at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (proceeds to benefit Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Research). It took place on Friday 5/13 and Saturday 5/14. Friday morning I woke up and started double checking to be sure I had packed everything into the truck. After my youngest son got home from school (he's in an AM Pre-K program) I headed out for the day.
Upon arrival at the stadium I approached the gate, told the attendant why I was there and was waived through. I parked close to the vendor area and grabbed the nearest Naptown official I could find and he kindly showed me to my space. After returning to get my truck, I pulled up next to my spot for the festival and began setting up.
This was actually a quick process at Pork in the Park, but Jo was with me there and here I was flying solo. Setting up the tent isn't so much the problem, it's the other things, but either way, I emptied and moved my truck back to the lot.
I returned to my tent and started finishing the details. Setting out sauces, the hand washing station, icing the sample bottles, and then hung my banner. Then, I sat down and waited for the health dept. to come by for inspection. Just before the festival opened, the gentlemen stopped by, we chatted for a few seconds, he looked over my set up and handed me my license, wished me luck and was on his way.
The day was overcast and gray but not too chilly, so people started coming out. I had a few people stop and try out the sauces. All good reactions, some people took my card, some said they'd be back later (a few actually come back) and I made a few sales. As the night moved on not many more people came but it looked like rain and was getting chillier.
The highlight of Friday came when a pair of KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) judges came by and tried my sauces and told me they were excellent. One turned out to be Mark Simmons, who's on the KCBS Board of Directors. He went over to the KCBS tent and grabbed me an application, told me to be sure to put his name as the referral and was overall a really nice guy. I submitted my application online, still making sure to include his name, and am now a member of the KCBS. Mark also told me about American Royal in KC and the sauce competition they hold annually...I'll be entering all three sauces!!
After a few more sales, Friday came to a close. I sealed up the tent and made my way around the festival grounds (for the first time) and stopped by to see my friends at Local Flavors Catering. After talking with them for a few minutes I headed home for the night.
Saturday morning I headed back down to the festival grounds and opened up, ready for the day. It was still a little overcast and it actually started to rain. It actually rained pretty hard for about 20 minutes then it cleared up. The rest of the day was alright and a lot of people came out. I was sampling like crazy for a while...sweet.
The highlight of Saturday came when a group of guys stopped by and told me how much they liked the sauce. The first one stopped and tried out our Hot & Spicy and immediately went and grabbed his buddies. After trying all the sauces they let me know they were a new competition bbq team and their first event would be next weekend in DE. I'll be keeping my eye out for Jeremy Newton and Fatheads Food Competition BBQ team!
I also had the pleasure of meeting the last butcher in A.A. County. I'll be touching base with him this week to see about getting our sauces in his shop. He loved it too! All in all I had a great time and will be back next year. If you didn't get the chance to come out to Naptown, we'll be at Swinetastic BBQ Festival in Frederick next month. Come out for the fun, food and to benefit a great charity (proceeds benefit American Cancer Society). Hope to see you there!