Originally crafted by Kairi Brown, father and son's John + Nico Rusconi became hooked after first trying Bubba Qs and decided to partner with Kairi to elevate his creation. With a focus on utilizing only the freshest ingredients, Bubba Qs is a flavor packed mix of sweet, smoky and bold flavors.
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
The company started out of true passion for food, flavor, and boldness. Kairi had been barbecuing on the Nascar circuit for a couple of years, and people were absolutely falling in love with the flavors of his food. During that time, he was perfecting the recipe for the Bubba Qs sauce. When my father, John, and I tasted it for the first time, we knew why people were becoming so obsessed with it. It’s sweet, smoky, bold, and you can taste the freshness. We decided to build Bubba Qs with a goal to share that experience with as many people as possible.
Tell us about your products.
We currently make 2 flavors of Bubba Qs – Original and Honey Chipotle. The foundation of our sauces is high quality, fresh, and flavorful ingredients. We focus on consistency and quality on a daily basis, and Kairi is still involved daily on the production of the sauce.
What Does Being A Small-Batch “Artisan” Mean To You?
To me, it means love and commitment. We put love and care into each bottle that we make. We focus day in and day out on providing the same high-quality experience to everyone who enjoys Bubba Qs. We are constantly sourcing new ingredient vendors who are pushing the boundaries on quality and freshness, just like we are.
What is your favorite small-batch treat?
Right now, I’m obsessed with small batch olive oils from Italy and Greece. The nuances in the flavor fascinate me.
What Drew You To Food?
I’ve always been drawn towards hospitality, and food as an extension of hospitality. Watching someone truly enjoy our Bubba Qs sauce or enjoy tacos at Chicas Tacos is indescribable.
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
My food inspiration comes from stories. Innovations and revolutions in food throughout history is such an amazing story to learn about, and draw inspiration from. I’m also inspired by the chefs, restaurateurs, and food entrepreneurs around the world that are pushing each other to innovate and grow.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
I recently opened a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles called Chicas Tacos that focus on fresh, never-frozen ingredients in high-quality tacos. We make all of our own salsas, sauces, and aguas frescas completely from scratch, and will be selling them via other retailers in the near future.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
My favorite ingredient at the moment.
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
I had a fried fish taco topped with a Caesar salad (which was invented in Tijuana) and a pork mama style (multi-layer pork, cheese, and tortilla secret menu dish) from Chicas Tacos. I eat there a lot…
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other artisans?
The only mistake you can make is a mistake you only make once.
What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?
Eduardo Ruiz is a mastermind in the kitchen. He takes a true commitment to flavor and fresh ingredients and elevates it in a way that makes you question why you ever try and cook at home. I also really love what Daniel Shemtob is doing at TLT Foods. He’s changing the game when it comes to New American cuisine.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
My mother’s rosemary chicken and polenta.
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
Bestia in downtown Los Angeles.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
I truly enjoy what I do on a daily basis, and I never really stop working. I’m always thinking of new ideas for hospitality, restaurants, real estate, and more. I do have an obsession with vintage books and have been collecting books for about 6 years.
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
I’ll throw on the James Bond soundtrack and get sensual with it.