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Ever had the best BBQ? Now you can!

43 years ago, Sunset Credit Union business account members John and Laura met at a softball game in Nampa, Idaho.  Today, they are owners of the award-winning barbeque company called Burnt Ends BBQ.

The duo, who have been interested in barbequing since they got married, took a few minutes to meet with us to discuss how they got started and why you should try their food.

Sunset Credit Union:  What got you interested in barbequing?

Burnt Ends BBQ: We’ve always enjoyed doing backyard barbequing and began watching the Food Network competitions.  I wanted to improve my skills so we ended up going to a competition in Lincoln City.  When we smelled the smoke before we even saw the event, we became hooked.

I really only wanted to improve my skills so I signed up for class with a teacher who two years later became the World Champion Barbeque winner.  I’ve also been tutored by Roy Lampe who has been featured in BBQ Pit Masters, Chopped and is a nationally renowned author.

Sunset: So how did you get involved in competitions?

Burnt Ends: Originally I wanted to just become competent – not compete, but Laura had other ideas.  I judged competitions for two years and then realized that I can do better than what I was judging.

She bought me my first Weber ‘Bullet’ smoker and I just kept on cooking.  In 2004 we were judging an event in Albany, Oregon and there was a ‘Backyard Division’ for those people who weren’t ‘pro’ so I entered it.

There were only three competitors so they opened the competition to everyone and I beat out the ‘pros’ to win Grand Champion.  Ironically, I won another Weber ‘Bullet’ smoker.

Over the years I’ve won a variety of awards which has been great for the business.

Sunset: Do you still compete?

Burnt Ends: We cater more than we compete. Last year, Bullseye BBQ sauce sponsored us to make appearances on their behalf.  We’ve done the Rose Festival, Oregon Beer Festival and others.  I love it so much that I’ve been known to BBQ in three-feet of snow.

Sunset: What type of equipment do you use?

Burnt Ends: We have a 17-foot custom built BBQ which is a replica of the barbeque of Kansas City Barbeque Society team of the year.

Sunset: Do you just barbeque or do you create other foods?

Burnt Ends: We have some side dishes we’re pretty proud of.  In 2009 I was asked by a friend to the Super Bowl of BBQ’s in Kansas City to help her with the side dishes.  Our Louisiana Corn Salad took 22nd place out of 497 entries.

Sunset: What’s been your favorite catering experience?

Burnt Ends: We were asked to cater a family reunion in Bend. There were more than 50 people and we camped out and cooked all the meals for them using our barbeque.  We even did a Dutch oven Peach Cake.

Sunset: Barbequing isn’t the only thing you do is it?

Burnt Ends: Laura has been sewing since she was 5-years old, went through 4-H and is now a teacher for them. She started Lollies Creations which makes custom hand dishtowels, picnic placemats, scarves and much more. Every year we donate sewing items to the American Legion of Aurora for their drive for the Veterans’ Administration facility in the Dalles.

Sunset: What types of events do you cater?

Burnt Ends: We do weddings, corporate events, reunions, parties, lunches – just about anything you can think of.  We can do just the meat or cater the whole meal depending on your needs. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this award-winning barbequer, would like to have them cater your event or would like pricing, they can reach us at or give them a call at 503.641.6680 or email them at

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