Kim McGrath


Austin, Texas, has become a Mecca for food fanatics and culinary experiences, and out of this restaurant-dense city comes a barbecue sauce that includes all the taste barbecue lovers crave, but without the glut of corn syrup and sugar.

This is the big advantage that a small company called 2BQ’D BBQ Sauce has over its competition. Pick up a bottle of any other barbecue sauce out there and you’ll see high fructose corn syrup, sugars and gums listed in the ingredients. This is not the case with 2BQ’D BBQ Sauce. Being an innovator like that in a food climate that is obsessed with staying healthy is quite impressive.

It was a simple desire to eat healthy that got co-owner Kim McGrath to invent such a barbecue sauce.

“I am a food label reader and always on the lookout for the healthiest foods I can bring home for my family,” McGrath said. “Our ingredients are important for that reason. We wanted a healthy BBQ sauce not full of corn syrup and sugar, so we set on making a batch from scratch and that was how 2BQ’D was formed. We use real food and our own recipes, so we can control all ingredients that are placed in our sauce.”

The challenge they face is that not everyone cares or is looking for a healthier and tastier alternative in the marketplace. People pretty much view barbecue sauce with a “taste is king” mentality without much thought to how healthy it is, so when something that is both delicious and healthy comes along it stands out.

While taste may be king, momma is the queen and she wants what’s healthy on her table.

All 2BQ’D has to do now is educate the barbecue-eating public that their product is out there. Success should come easy once people taste how good it is and understand how healthy it is.

“The biggest challenge facing our company is changing how people view barbecue sauce and knowing that a healthier, tastier alternative is in the market place,” McGrath said. “There are many barbecue sauces in the industry, so our mission is educating people on the importance of healthier food choices for themselves and their families.”

Creating that perfect complement for the many flavors and items on a diverse barbecue menu is not an easy task, but one that 2BQ’D is more than up for. One taste and people will see that they’ve risen to the challenge.

“My favorite barbecue items are moist brisket, turkey and potato salad,” McGrath said. “We developed a sauce that is layered in flavor, which enhances the spices and rubs that are used in barbecue meats. Our sauce is unique, because it actually has a light texture that complements and enhances the flavor of the meat and does not just coat it. We believe that you should be able to taste and enjoy the meats you spent time grilling.”

The McGraths are proud to be in the barbecue business, but are even prouder Texans. They couldn’t be happier than to be right here, right now.

“I love running a food business in Texas because the state has become a mecca for food fanatics and culinary experiences,” she said. “Having created a ‘gourmet’ type of barbecue sauce in a state that has amazing food is such a blessing. I support the GO TEXAN program because I have met and get to network with a wonderful staff and other entrepreneurs, who share my same passion for the food industry. GO TEXAN offers many programs and events that can help grow your business.”

Some business owners talk about networking, but the McGraths live it out. They quickly took advantage of opportunities that the GO TEXAN program made available to them, like meeting with grocery retail buyers or selling and sampling products at the State Fair of Texas. It was at events like these where Kim and her husband Sean didn’t wait for introductions, but quickly made friends with the fellow food vendors and businesses around them. They were able to meet and impress a co-packer called County Fair Foods, who has now taken their recipes and preparation out of the kitchen and into the commercial retail big world.

They truly embody the energy, smarts and opportunistic, entrepreneurial spirit in what they do, and they also believe in paying it forward beyond just the business world.

“We have a philosophy that with success comes a responsibility to give back to others,” Kim said. “In our pursuit to do that, we chose Smile Train because of our daughter Mei-Li.”

Kim and Sean adopted Mei-Li from China five years ago. At the time, Mei-Li had an unrepaired cleft lip and palate. Through her receiving the necessary cleft surgeries and speech therapy she is now a healthy, beautiful and happy 7-year-old child. Cleft children can require not only cleft surgeries, but speech therapy, feeding therapy and occupational therapy.

Smile Train is a non-profit organization that corrects cleft lips and palates in children all over the world. Through the corrective surgeries, these children get a chance for a normal life without serious setbacks in growth and development.

“Sean and I have been honored and humbled by our journey with our daughter and we wanted to help other parents who have no resources or help for their children,” Kim said. “Smile Train is a wonderful way to give back to those families and their beautiful children all over the world.”

So, each purchase of 2BQ’D BBQ Sauce not only puts a smile on the barbecue lover’s face after enjoying its healthy and delicious taste, but also has a tangible effect on repairing smiles of children around the world.

You can find 2BQ’D BBQ Sauce in all the Whole Foods, Central Market and Market Street stores in Texas. For more information, visit their website.

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