After being laid off in 2009 from a police department civilian job, Kris Schoenberger decided it was time to build something of his own.
He’d recently hosted a cookout at his home for a hundred people, and, on the way out, a close friend, impressed by the quality of the food, asked Kris to cater his upcoming wedding. Little did he know, but the 350-person event was the unintended soft launch for BBQ’d Productions, Kris’ backyard BBQ catering company. Within two years, he grew the small enterprise into a full-fledged operation that grills all food on-site - and not just all food, ANY food. From standards, like chicken and ribs, to the unexpected meatballs and dessert, Kris finds something special in bringing his kitchen into clients’ homes and special events.
Looking to expand his business in 2012, Kris turned to Brewing the American Dream. His $7,000 loan from Accion allowed him to buy a new trailer and additional equipment so he could handle more events. Now, Kris has a fleet of four trucks and has evolved BBQ’d Productions into a full-service party business.
In 2013, he opened a restaurant location where regulars line up nightly and don’t blink about the line that often winds down the sidewalk.
Kris regularly takes advantage of the access to one-on-one mentorship from Samuel Adams experts. “It’s like having your high school football team coached by the Chicago Bears,” Kris jokes about the Brewing the American Dream program. Of course, we’re just happy to see him ascend to a BBQ MVP!