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Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories

Aug 11, 2017

Josh & Kevin (@US_Foods) of US Foods






Ole Hickory Pits:

Grill Grates:

Weber Grills:

Del Mar BBQ Championship:

Del Mar BBQ Championship Facebook Event: 

US Foods Acquires Another Distributor:

US Foods Press Releases:

US Foods Class Action Lawsuit:

US Foods Tipping Point:


PFUFA Website:

PFUFA Directory:

A Weekend With PFUFA:


Shawn's Trip to Canton:

Shawn's Trip to Canton:

Cali Shawn PFUFA:


The Washington Hogettes fan group have raised over $150M for child cancer research:

Ladainian Tomlinson into the Hall of Fame:

The PFUFA / Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade is the 3rd largest parade in the US behind macs parade and rose bowl parade:

US Foods catered food for the Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend

US Foods is one of the best food service companies around

Cali Comfort BBQ and Valley Farm Market both have great relationships with US Foods

Transparency is KEY in business

Josh has been with US Foods for 9 years and is going strong!

Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Diligence, Follow-Through

Kevin is a US Foods as a Business Development Manager, and is a Meat Specialist

Kevin is extremely knowledgeable in the food business

Certified Angus Beef:

StockYards Meat Company: - The oldest meat packing company in the world - created in 1893

Shawn "The more you can learn about every aspect of the company, the better you will be at your job"

When 100 people want ribeye, what to do with the chuck piece of the meat?

Full Carcas Utilization - There are 29 lean cuts of carcas on a cattle

Chicago is the "Mecca of USDA Beef" because it was easy to "rail out on the american railroad systems... easy to bring the feed to the cattle" - Kevin 

Derek, "Knowledge is POWER"

US Foods flew Derek out to the main packing facility to show him how they do it - Transparency

US Foods really cares about their clients like Cali Comfort BBQ and Valley Farm Market

Restaurant Owner (amazing resource):

Josh, "So many business owners focus on ways to save their way to succes instead of focusing on quality, creating partnerships"

US Foods needs to make money too, and restaurant owners need to understand their costs and reflect those on the menu

Josh, "The more successful the business is, the more successful US Foods is"

Josh started learning about food by starting in the kitchen

Josh went to Culinary Institute - "go to the best places and work your way up"


Josh was a busboy at Harpoon Henry's:

Shawn "Gratitude goes a long way"

Josh started at the very bottom of US Foods and is now almost to the very top

US Foods has 64 distro centers all over the US, 23B in annual revenue, Publicly Traded Company

US Foods is sponsoring Del Mar BBQ State Championship by donating meat


US Foods is investing money in digital technology and working on becoming a more relevant business towards the millennial generation

US Foods is trying to change up the game by changing the customer's experience

People like Brad, Kevin and Josh would bring their computers to the Football games to still work even during the weekend because they are that committed to their craft

Josh lives in Temecula and commutes down to SD every single day



Restaurants and Retail work with the lowest margins and US Foods works very hard to teach their consumers about every product

CAB: A certain cattle must be able to meet a lot of requirements and specs to be considered CAB

Currently, there is an increased amount of cattle but in 2012-2013 there was a major drought in midwest, took about 2 years to recover

Shops like Valley Farm Market were losing money on the scarcity of cattle - flat meat got to $9/lb

Takes about 700 days for cattle to go from "gate to plate"

Derek has sleepless nights during the drought because he was so scared to raise prices of meat and was scared to turn away customers

Kevin, "We have to have price courage at some point, because we know how good the quality of the meat is"

Derek cares so much about everything in the business and wishes that sometimes he didn't care as much as he does. Goes to speak about the quality of Valley Farm Market

Cali Comfort BBQ has begun to reverse-engineer the menu by focusing on how the plate will look in a picture on Instagram, etc

Andre Agassi "Image is Everything" Canon Marketing Campaign:

"People buy with their eyes" - Derek's father's words of wisdom

How do we make our product look sexy? Both US Foods, Cali Comfort BBQ, and Valley Farm Market are focusing more and more on things like product presentation & customer experience

Keeping "the end in mind" is so important - Kevin

Taste of Texas (Ed Hendy):

There are no cutting corners in the restaurant business


Derek "People will always remember the one negative, even out of ten positives.... the little things matter"

When you come to Valley Farm Market, you are going to have a good experience because Derek trains his staff to CARE 

"If I can get them in here, I can keep them" - Derek on getting customers into Valley Farm Market

"When you are in the hospitality business, you have to always have your head on a swivel, being ready for everything at every moment" - Shawn

It's all about the people who work behind the scenes who make things happen

Shout out to Gene Goycochea - the mastermind behind BBQ

US Foods helped save the 2016 Del Mar BBQ State Championship during the health inspection - come out and see the madness this year on 8/20!

US Foods Food Fanatics:

Get in Touch

Derek Marso -

Shawn Walchef -

Cory Wagner -

Valley Farm Market - -

Cali Comfort BBQ - - -

Behind The Smoke - -

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