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Mission Bar-B-Que empowers residents, serves up award-winning flavor


Cooked using the best ingredients and methods, Mission Bar-B-Que is raising awareness about Portland Rescue Mission.

“What time is it? Bar-B-Que time!” We’ve started hearing the chant around Portland Rescue Mission, most likely from George Vaughan, our Donor Relations Manager and one of the key staff behind the launch of Mission Bar-B-Que.

Also spearheaded by Social Enterprise Manager Dave Whiting, Mission Bar-B-Que offers the community the best of slow-cooked bar-b-que, while also supporting our ministries (New Life, Pathway and Hope) and offering job skills training to service residents from The Harbor.

Tasty and mouth-watering, the sweet-spicy flavor that’s cooked to perfection is a work of art. And like most art, it takes time.

The prep time is about 1.5 hours throughout the course of an entire day, but then it rests overnight. It then takes 10-12 hours to cook on the pit the next day depending on the temperature of the meat and the temperature of the pit. Once it reaches the right temperature, it takes another one hour to process and “pull” it. The process takes 19 different steps and the meat is cooked in several ingredients, including apple juice, butter, brown sugar and plenty of spices.

Dwight shows off the cooking process.

Dwight shows off the cooking process.

Executive Director Eric Bauer initiated the idea for a bar-b-que business that led to the initial plans for Mission Bar-B-Que last December. Shortly thereafter, Dave and some select residents at The Harbor had the privilege of being trained by a four-time national bar-b-que champion in cooking “competition-style” bar-b-que.

Dave sees the potential in this opportunity to prepare our participants vocationally not just in the how-to’s of food service, but in hospitality.

“Many of our residents haven’t worked in years, so this is a great opportunity to work with them and teach them the necessary skills needed to be successful,” Dave said. “Mission Bar-B-Que is committed to teaching time management skills, the ability to follow directions and recipes, along with potential customer service and hospitality skills.”

Dave continued, “Since we are the only ones in town who are preparing ‘competition’ bar-b-que, we believe this business will be very successful not only from an income standpoint, but as a training platform for our residents.’

Mission Bar-B-Que caters.

Mission Bar-B-Que caters!

The hope is that in the next couple years, Mission Bar-B-Que will generate significant financial support for all of our ministries.

The menu includes pulled pork and chicken, as well as salmon. The meat is served on fresh buns baked locally and comes with smoky baked beans, creamy coleslaw and the option of hot apple crisp–a special recipe used by George’s mom.

Ready for some incredible bar-b-que? Have Mission Bar-B-Que cater your next lunch or dinner event. Visit http://www.pdxmissionbbq.org for menu and pricing options, or call 855-MSSN-BBQ (855-677-6227).