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OUR STORY

BBQ Pro Shop is the place to find the highest quality, competition grade spices, accessories, bbq rubs and smokers to help you grill like a pro. We bring years of experience in working with some of the finest pitmasters and backyard cooks in the business. We strive to carry only the highest quality products, and we would not sell anything we do not use ourselves. We want this to be your BBQ Pro Shop, so let us know how we can get better.

Gretchen and Jeffrey Belmonti, a Marriage That Celebrates Our Love of Grilling

Growing up Jeff Belmonti worked at Poeta's Food Mart in Highwood, IL. Famous for it's homemade italian sausage, Jeff learned to make the sausage and trim meats. As part of the job he worked Highwood Days and grilled thousands of sausages and marinated skirt steaks and that is where he fell in love with cooking over fire.  His Poppy taught him to BBQ on the gas grill that was always on the deck at his childhood home and he often grilled for the family and still does today.

Gretchen moved to Chicago from Buffalo and met Jeff while working for Elizabeth Karmel and learned the art of grilling from the master. Gretchen worked on the Weber Grill account for many years and honed her cooking skills attending many James Beard dinners and learning how to grill from Elizabeth and the many experts they came in contact with. Gretchen taught Jeff that there was more to life than skirt steak, burgers, sausage and chicken breasts. Gretchen took Jeff to the world famous Memphis in May BBQ Contest and their life changed forever.

Gretchen and Jeff began to grill together after getting married in 2000 and improved their skills, getting their first Primo Smoker and learning to smoke ribs, chicken and sausage. They love to grill everything and the only thing that goes in the oven is stuff that just will not work on the grill. (Mostly chicken fingers for their two children) Jeff has mastered ribs and is working on smoked brisket. Their specialty is beer can chicken and their annual Thanksgiving feast which includes BBQ Turkey, always cooked on the grill, never in the oven and many racks of smoked baby back ribs. Ribs became a tradition because Gretchen's father Harold was not a fan of turkey. Now the ribs are the biggest hit and the crowd grows every year.

BBQ Pro Shop was born out of a love for BBQ smoking and grilling and Jeff has since moved on to own an Ole Hickory Smoker for larger cooks and a Mill Scale 94 Gallon Offset smoker where he is learning to cook with a live fire. Jeff owns a classic Weber 22" and an M Grills M16 where he continues to work on cooking the best steaks and chops.

Our love and passion for finding the best spices, rubs and sauces and giving you one place to find them all. In 2020 BBQ Pro Shop partnered with the Smoke Freaks, Brian and Ann Neale who created the Flavor Guide to help our customers know more about the products that they are buying. Their years on the competition BBQ circuit helped them create a system that consistently assess the products and gives you information to make better buying decisions.

We keep finding all of these wonderful products that we use when we grill and smoke, and making them easier for you to find and enjoy is our mission. BBQ Pro Shop is our gift back to the world of BBQ, we have had the pleasure of knowing the love and fellowship of the BBQ community and sharing the creations of these amazing cooks, competitors and creators with the rest of the world is our mission. Total flavor domination, or TFD is what we like to call it.

We hope you enjoy all of our products as much as we do and please have a look at our BBQ Pro Shop Blog for more information and updates about what we are cooking, BBQ Joints we have visited and new products.

To all of you, from both of us at BBQ Pro Shop - Thank you, thank you, thank you for your business and Happy Grilling!

Gretchen and Jeffrey Belmonti
Owners and Operators

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