Runner Up Grand Champion Cook - Off
1st. Place Best BBQ Sauce Peoples Choice

Chefs go for the gold in city’s barbecue cookoff

PRESTONSBURG – It was a down south sort of thing in downtown Prestonsburg.

Amid a host of activities that took place near the city stage adjacent to city hall was a barbecue competion. It may have been just as beneficial to those visting the downtown area this weekend as it was for the winners.

Locals in addition to several hopefuls from out of state threw their cooking caps into the ring for the title of “Best BBQ in Eastern Kentucky.”

Vendors competed in different areas, such as barbecue pork, chicken, ribs and an area referred to as Chef’s Choice. This last included such catagories as beef brisket and buffalo.

“When people visit these events, they visit our businesses, too, which is good for all involved,” said Brent Graden, Prestonsburg’s Director of Economic Development and the event organizer. “At the same time, it is also good to come together as a community and with your neighbors. Good things happen when people get together.”

The barbeque expert who came out on top during the weekend competition was West Prestonsburg resident Christian Clark, representing Absolute BBQ Company. The runner-up in the competition was Kevin McKee, of Lecco, there to show off the best for KD’s Homemade BBQ Sauce, a local provider of sauce based in Kentucky.

The cookoff was able to make donations from this year’s event to the Shriner’s Hospital charity.

Read more: Floyd County Times (KY) - Chefs go for the gold in city’s barbecue cookoff

West Liberty SBDC Client Receives Statewide Recognition
Kevin McKee, owner and operator of KD’s Homemade BBQ Sauce, was recently named the 2009 Kentucky Microenterprise Business of the Year. This award was presented during the first annual Partners for Entrepreneurial Advancement in Kentucky (PEAK) conference held June 30th at the Embassy Suites in Lexington. KD’s Homemade BBQ Sauce was one of five finalists trying for this award. McKee’s business was honored for its outstanding perserverance and community impact.

​​What began as making BBQ sauce for family and friends has now become his family's full-time job. A friend who owns a store offered to carry his product, so McKee packaged some jars with homemade labels. Quickly, the locals in the surrounding area loved it and told their friends who told their friends and so on and so on.
Beginning in July 2008, his dream of manufacturing this product became a reality. With the assistance of the West Liberty Small Business Development Center, a business plan and projections was created in order to seek lender financing for his business. The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) extended a loan to McKee to help in covering renovation and start-up costs. McKee converted his home's basement into a commercial kitchen and distribution center. KD's Homemade BBQ Sauce is a wholesale company with the product being sold at various retail outlets in central and eastern Kentucky. The West Liberty SBDC office was also instrumental in assisting McKee in participating in the Kentucky Proud initiative for Kentucky-made products, in establishing a website and in referring him to the state procurement office so that his product would be included as a vendor for state agencies.

​​KD’s Homemade BBQ Sauce has had quite a successful start. It was served at the Presidential Inaugural Bluegrass Ball in Washington, D.C. in January 2009. The sauce is now available in nearly 40 locations throughout Kentucky. Many of the Kentucky state parks carry his product. For a listing of retailer locations or to order some BBQ sauce, visit