Sam’s Club home office last week hosted 50 competitive barbecue teams who traveled to Northwest Arkansas for the final round of competition in the inaugural Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour. The event kicked off back in April when teams battled for a spot in the championship, which was sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
The winner of the event, TippyCanoe BBQ Crew of St. Ansgar, Iowa, received a cash prize of $35,000, while a total of $400,000 in prize money was awarded to teams throughout the course of the tour.
Some portion of those funds surely ended up back in Sam’s Club cash registers as one of the goals of the program was to highlight Sam’s Club as a destination for meats and a wide range of other products used by food service operators focused on the barbeque sector.
“As the provider of quality meats for professional and amateur pit masters alike, Sam’s Club was thrilled to host the inaugural Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour Championship,” said Bob Fields, senior merchandise director for Sam's Club. “We are proud to have hosted some of the top professional barbecue teams from across the country, and to serve thousands in our communities by offering samples and sharing tips on how to be better grillers in their own backyards."
The event no doubt spread considerable good will among participants and favorable word of mouth on the competitive cooking circuit as the prize money was quite generous. For example, the reserve champion title and $15,000 prize went to Grog N Hogs of Richmond, Va. Third place overall and a $6,000 prize went to Big T's Q Cru of Ames, Iowa. First place finishers in each category received a $5,000 prize. Uncle Kenny's BBQ of Winter Garden, Fla. finished first in ribs. First place brisket went to Fowl Butt BBQ of Decatur, Ind. First place chicken went to The Smoking Hills of Overland Park, Kan., and first place pork went to TRUEBUD of Tonganoxie, Kan.