Meet The Family

Kenai Premier Barbecue Sauce is a small family business from the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. Our barbeque sauce was born in the Schmunk family kitchen over twenty years ago. Jim and Nancy kept tweaking our base recipe until they felt it was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. In 2010 with the help of supportive friends, family, and co-workers we began selling our barbeque sauce to the commercial market.

 

Our delicious creation has spread quickly across Alaska. Today you can find Kenai Premier Barbecue Sauce at a number of grocery stores, butcher shops and small family markets across Alaska including Mr. Prime Beef, Three Bears, and a number of IGA's.

 

In 2013, we started producing Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce in Lake Oswego, Oregon for the “lower 48” market. Getting back to our roots we again started selling to local butcher shops like Otto’s Sausage Kitchen in Portland, Oregon and small family grocery stores like Petrich's General Store in Scholls, Oregon, who have been serving their community since 1895. Mindful of the values that forged the last frontier, we at Kenai Premier Barbecue Sauce believe in keeping our barbeque sauce "Old Alaskan Style" which means no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG and we are gluten free. The ingredients in our barbeque sauce or grown from the ground, not made in a lab. As Jim says " if you’re going to do something, make sure you do it right ". Thanks for taking the time to read our story and from our family to yours, Enjoy.

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JIM SCHMUNK

Jim is the founder and owner of Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce. A butcher by trade and he is also the owner of Kenai Custom Cuts. Jim took Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce to the commercial market in 2010 and has been slinging sauce ever since. When he is not making the best sauce on the planet or cutting up Alaskan Game in the meat shop, you can find him fishing on the Kenai River or on the Kasliof beach throwing a ball for his dog, Amber.

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NANCY SCHMUNK

Nancy is the co-founder and Owner of Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce and Kenai Custom Cuts. Nancy takes care of both businesses. One day it will be cooking up fresh batches of Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce in the commercial kitchen and the next wrapping meat in the butcher shop. When she is not putting smiles on customers faces she is enjoying the Alaskan Life, whether that be tasting wine in Homer, watching the northern lights on the Kenai Peninsula or enjoying a relaxing night being warmed by the wood fire.

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BRYAN SCHMUNK

Bryan is a co-owner of Kenai Premier BBQ Sauce. Bryan moved to Portland Oregon in 2013 to share his family’s creation with the lower forty-eight. Since then we have expanded across Oregon and into parts of Washington, California and Minnesota. When Bryan isn't  high fiving strangers, soon to be friends, or working on his ultimate goal "to be the official BBQ Sauce for Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers", he can be found smoking ribs, watching packer games, or enjoying the amazing outdoors of the Northwest.

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CHERYL RUSSO

Cheryl adds some east coast essence hailing from Providence, Rhode Island. She is now our product developer, sauce slinger, and all around amazing assistant to the Portland team. She has over 20 years in the food industry and has managed and built restaurants across the Portland area. When she is not smiling at events or coming up with new ways to delight your taste buds she can be found antique shopping, hiking in the Oregon mountains or spoiling her two kitties at home.