Monthly Archives: October 2010

Uncle Bub’s BBQ Begins Monster Sandwich Challenge for Chicago and Western Suburbs

Get ready BBQ lovers in Naperville, Western Suburbs and Chicago…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my company, Social Frequency Media Communications, has been working with Uncle Bub’s to develop their multi-media interactive social media strategy and this fun contest/challenge, along with their new Uncle Bub’s TV channel on YouTube, Uncle Bub’s BBQ – Facebook , Uncle Bub’s BBQ – Twitter and Uncle Bub’s – FourSqaure is the starting point.

It’s also a continued step in my personal life journey toward my purpose and passion, choosing to connect only with those people and businesses who I admire.  There is definitely a human story behind this one as well.   The Link family, the owners/founders behind Uncle Bub’s, and their long-time BBQ team there are truly a great group of people whose passion for BBQ is equal to their belief and passion in giving back.  Spend some time at Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont and you’ll see it shine through.

Again, I guess it goes back to the many intentional and unintentional lessons I learned from my father in his career as publisher of a small-town shopper newspaper.  As entrepreneurs, it’s so much more about the passion to create and serve people than it is about the money… and those are the businesses which deserve all of our support.  While the destination may ultimately be money/survival, the journey is so much more fun.

Discover your purpose and take the next step in living your dream… today!



It was my life’s passion, but…

It was my life’s passion, but I didn’t think I could make a living at it, turns out I’m not only making a living, I’m making a better life.

Review of Why Uncle Bub’s BBQ and Catering is the Best BBQ Joint in Chicagoland

To my readers who have joined alongside me in this blogging journey, you will know a couple of things.  First, I not only love BBQ – the food-, but most importantly BBQ -the tradition- and way of life.  Second, I am the son of a one-time BBQ restaurateur back in Kentucky.  Third, I am a backyard amateur BBQ pitmaster (with a lower case “p”).  Fourth, did I mention I love BBQ?

It’s been a great year for my BBQ passion in getting to co-produce a pilot food series in Chicagoland with an episode focusing solely on BBQ, to have had the opportunity to shoot a documentary film about Naperville Ribfest and now to have the opportunity to work alongside my favorite BBQ joint in all of Chicagoland, Uncle Bub’s Award-Winning BBQ, in helping them develop and mange their online and social web presence.

Simply put, behind the very best BBQ you will always find the very best people.  That’s because BBQ takes time, patience and a relentless devotion to tradition, flavor and technique.  Even more, in the South, which is where I’m from, BBQ is a social pastime that creates strong bonds between people in the process and the resulting indulgent meal.  It’s about staying up all night to keep the smoker going and enjoying the good-hearted and good-humored company of friends… and possibly a couple of beers along the way.

BBQ isn’t about love… I say BBQ is love.  Why else would anyone go to great lengths to cook and nurture meat low-and-slow carefully balancing heat and hardwood smoke for anywhere between 5-20 hours depending on the meat.  Apply this scenario to a busy and successful restaurant where a wide array of BBQ is being cooked essentially 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, then you will have discovered the very definition of BBQ love.  Add catering to the mix, and you’ve found Qtopia!


Mark Link, Founder and Owner of Uncle Bub's Award-Winning BBQ


Thus turns us to Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont, where the only thing better than the incredible BBQ is the family and people behind the operation which is in it’s 13th year of operation.  Having grown up in the catering business, Mark Link and his family built Uncle Bub’s from the ground up and opened its doors in 1997.  From the time Uncle Bub’s was a mere concept to today, Mark has traveled and continues to travel across the country eating at every BBQ joint he comes across not to mention the numerous BBQ competitions Uncle Bub’s participates in each year to not only share the love, but to continue learning from the masters.  I once asked him how many BBQ joints he’s been to and he told me he believes he lost count after about 200.  Alongside his wife, Carri, his daughters, a number of employees who have been there from the start and a very loyal following of customers, who are referred to as the Uncle Bub’s BBQ family, Uncle Bub’s demonstrates at every turn it’s roots as a family business.  I also believe good things happen to good people and when you add the list of celebrities in which Uncle Bub’s has served, such as Oprah Winfrey, and the fact Larry the Cable Guy himself filmed a scene from one of this movies there, there is definitely a good vibe and law of attraction at work.

One of many antiques donated by loyal Uncle Bub's customers

Further evidence of loyalty adorns the walls and flat surfaces of the restaurant itself.  At first glance, you get the feeling as though you are inside a rustic barn with antiques all over the walls, almost like a museum.  You might be surprised to know that nearly half of what you see has been donated by loyal customers over the years who want a piece of their family to become a small piece of the Uncle Bub’s family.

As for the food, the best way I can describe the Uncle Bub’s style of BBQ is “best of regions”.  Mark’s travels and background are truly reflected in the menu:  Baby Back Ribs, St. Louis-Style Ribs, Beef Brisket, Burnt Ends, Rib Tips, Pulled Porked, Pulled Chicken, BBQ Chicken, Hot Links, Smoked Turkey and an array of made-from-scratch side items, including hand-cut french fries and an indulgent favorite, deep fried mac-and-cheese. All of which is available, and more, via Uncle Bub’s Catering which can handle a party of 10 or 1,000.


Jay Rushford, General Manager of Uncle Bub's Award-Winning BBQ


Finally, I couldn’t possibly write this post and not include a major part of the Uncle Bub’s restaurant team who has his share of responsibility for delivering the best BBQ on a daily basis.  Jay Rushford is the General Manager of Uncle Bub’s.  His passion for BBQ is second-to-none and his welcoming and easy-going personality adds additional flavor to this BBQ institution.  Like Mark, when he’s not working, which is rare, he too is out on the road on his own BBQ journeys.  

I told Mark the other day that working with Uncle Bub’s in helping them share their story with the world is, in a way, keeping my own father’s spirit and passion for bbq alive which is a tradition that anyone in my family can tell you is very much alive and well.

If you’ve never been to Uncle Bub’s, the best way to jump in is to click here and become part of their Uncle Bub’s Facebook Family.  To get the full experience, just head down the road from Naperville to Westmont and experience Bub Love at 132 South Cass Ave. or as I like to think, head east on 75th street to Cass Avenue, turn left and you will eventually see Uncle Bub’s on your left.  SM


UNIVERSAL TRUTH: If you are doing all the talking, then it is not a conversation. Relationships are formed through listening. As the saying goes, “I don’t care how much you know, until I know how much you care”.

Successful leaders realize they…

Successful leaders realize they don’t have all the answers, but know the impact and value of reaching out to ask all the right questions.

It’s the right people that make…

It’s the right people that make the journey worthwhile as love in its many forms is ultimately the only thing that matters in this lifetime.

Think of it this way…

Think of it this way… ultimately, the worst thing that could happen is going to one day happen anyway, so why let fear rule the day?

While some think…

While some think “what if it doesn’t work”, true innovators can only think “what if it does work”. Life is short, make a plan, take action.

Congratulations to Steffany and Fed

Last weekend, my family and I were in Long Island, NY to celebrate the wedding of my sister-in-law.  I’ve attended quite a few weddings in my lifetime, but I must say this particular wedding was as special and unique as the bride and groom themselves.

From vintage centerpieces hand-constructed of actual movie reels still containing their feature films to the Heavy Metal room where Fed and his band mates could feel right at home to the total of 8 cakes, each with their own special cake topper reflecting the couple.

Their story is one which truly transcends the meaning of love, family and fate… almost a movie storyline in itself.  Congratulations to you both Steffany and Fed and here’s to a beautiful new twist in your life’s road.  See you in November once again, when we join together to celebrate NAPERVILLE THANKSGIVING 2010!