Pamplin Media Group – Add Spice to Life
John Charles wears multiple hats, but more recently Charles has successfully marketed a winning barbecue sauce
Not everyone can say they had the world’s largest data center in their backyard and then move to an area where they now have the second largest data center in their ‘backyard’. court ”.
This is the case of John Charles, who moved to Prineville in 2020 as the COVID pandemic had just locked the community out. Charles recently started to market a product that he has been perfecting for 17 years. His business, John John’s BBQ, is now available in several locations around Prineville, but it’s been a long journey to get there.
Charles grew up in the Bay Area in East Palo Alto, California. His parents’ house is still in the neighborhood where he grew up and now has the largest Facebook campus, Menlo Park, facing their backyard. In his youth, he and his classmates benefited from the testing and start-up phases of Google and Facebook. Many of his childhood friends went to work for them as the basis of his evolution.
He chose football and went to Portland State University in the 1990s, where he had the opportunity to play football and was president of the college student body. His talent and ability led him to an opportunity to go to the NFL in 1993 and train with the Atlanta Falcons.
He eventually returned to Portland, where he had attended school and lived there for about 16 years. He started a youth football academy in Portland while in Portland, and he had young people from all over the country who came to train with him. He came to learn from Prineville because Brett Edgerly, from Prineville, brought his son, Ethan Edgerly, to train with Charles.
“I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to come here,” he added of Edgerly’s introduction to Prineville. “I got to see the lives people lead – fishing, hunting, hiking – everyone is healthy. It’s perfect, so I moved here.
He resumed informal football training with young people at the weekend. Charles has a third cap, in addition to his barbecue business and occasional football practice. He works for Central Oregon Economic Development as an internship coordinator for Youth Career Connect in Redmond.
Moving to Prineville immediately after the COVID lockdown, Charles successfully brought a new product to market during the downtime, which he named John John’s BBQ. Its barbecue sauce is available locally at F5 Smokehouse, Wagner’s Market IGA, Sweet Willow & Company and Prineville Produce.
“With that barbecue sauce, it wasn’t a family recipe, and it wasn’t passed down or anything, it was something that I created over 12 years ago. got it, I gave it to people, and they forgot I gave it to them, it wasn’t that good, ”he commented of the evolution of his barbecue sauce.
Over time he worked to get consistency and the correct measurements, but he never thought it was appropriate. During the COVID containment, Charles was able to slow down and take his time to refine his product and achieve the right taste and consistency.
Growing up, Charles noted that his neighborhood had a tradition of cooking and sharing food with each other. One of the neighbors was making his own barbecue sauce and he loved it so much that he wanted to understand how he made it.
“It was really, really good. I tried to figure out how he did it. I knew he started with ketchup as a base, and different things that you start with. I put them together and I started with ketchup as a base, and different things that you start with. started adding my own twist to it, and that’s where it is now, ”explained Charles.
Charles said it took 17 years to get to where the sauce is now. He did it first for his own family.
“It was something I did for my own family, and of course they said they loved it, because it was me. But when you give it to people who don’t know you and who l ‘like, that’s when you know you’re on to something. ”
“Because of the community, I want to thank them,” added Charles of the incredible support he received from the community of Prineville.
He went on to say, “They let me let them taste it and try it and taste it, from kids to grandparents. Everyone; black, white, Chinese.”
After taking his product to the next level, he took it to Washington, California and Portland, in addition to Prineville.
“Everyone had very positive responses. I tried to find a way to bottle it,” he said.
Charles noted that they tried a variety of bottles and ways to present his barbecue sauce, but some were awkward, including squeezable plastic bottles and mason jars. He found a Seattle, Washington bottling company that supplies traditional bottles.
“Now it’s consistent with everyone with a good product inside.”
Charles stressed that he owes a great deal of gratitude to the companies and individuals who have supported him in successfully marketing his product. He wanted to especially thank John and Candace Frantz and Jess Carter of F5 Smokehouse; Terry and Deb Harper at Wagner’s; Patrick and Becky Clark at Prineville Produce; Suzie Kristensen and her staff at the COCC campus — for using their kitchen; Somerli at Sweet Willow & Company; Isabelle Grove at Busy Izzy Granola; Linda Stephenson at L&S Gardens; and Andrew Cambouris and his team at Contrast Design Works in the Bay Area.
“And most importantly, I want to thank everyone in this community who purchased a bottle to show their support,” Charles concluded.
John John’s barbecue
Owner: John Charles
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