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Meet George and Judith Buendia of The Mission Barbeque in La Canada Flintridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to George and Judith Buendia.

George and Judith, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
“Smoking Hunger, One Meal at a Time”

You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. As you can see, we have a genuine heart for the homeless. We use a portion of the proceeds of each sale to feed the people on Skid Row as well as other homeless camps in and around Los Angeles.

They say a good barbecue is only as good as its Pitmaster. George has been an avid smoker for years but only began to take it to the streets on a serious note just four years ago. After receiving numerous accolades for his mouthwatering recipes and competition style meat smoking skills, he felt compelled to be part of the solution to the ever increasing homeless population.

With the support of our customers, we can make a difference. We’ve found an enormous need, hunger…and we want to fill it with loads and loads of our delicious barbecue!

Has it been a smooth road?
As a food business, we do face the challenges of wanting to set ourselves apart from the people who dabble in some kind of side business or serious hobby. The obstacles are very real, whether it’s a mobile food business or a brick and mortar. Many of our customers who enjoy our food regularly beg for us to open a brick and mortar. However, we find that the biggest challenges aren’t our menu or recipes, but in marketing, location, pricing, and maintaining stability and consistency in the value of our products. We prepare our food in a commercial kitchen that has been inspected by the local environmental health department, so you know that food safety is our priority.

We believe that a slow and thoughtful growth will help us sustain these consistencies and keep our customers coming for more.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Mission Barbeque – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Mission Barbeque opened last November at the La Canada Flintridge Farmers Market and continues to be there every Saturday from 8am-1pm. We offer full-service catering through our website Monday through Friday and we are closed on Sundays.

We take pride in using only certified organic and grass-fed meats. The quality and care we take to make our main dishes as well as our sides are what make us stand out from the rest. We also offer a variety of Southern desserts such as cornbread, cakes, pies, cookies and brownies, all made from scratch.

We have dry rubbed oak smoked St. Louis style pork spareribs, a 14-hour Texas style Brisket smoked to perfection, palate-pleasing piles of juicy pulled pork, Kansas City style Brisket Burnt Ends, Angus Monster Beef Ribs, slow smoked Bratwurst and Smoked Barbecue Chicken.

Our Mac and Cheese is the creamiest because it is made from a rue and three cheeses and then smoked on the grill for 2 hours to get that natural infused smoked flavor. The Baked Beans are slow cooked with our house barbecue sauce, some secret spices and a pinch of brown sugar. Our Southern style coleslaw is sweet and tangy with a vinegar-based dressing. Occasionally, we offer tender and juicy Collard Greens, smoked and slow cooked with ham hocks.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is a plethora of cultural foods and you can find hundreds of varieties of food trucks or restaurants any time of the day or night, in any ethnic variety and pricing. You can literally find anything you want to eat, somewhere in LA. That is why we thought that good old fashioned American barbecue was the best way to showcase the flavors into this city. We researched the number of smokehouse barbecue restaurants in and around Los Angeles, and we found that there’s a good number of them in the areas by LAX. However, the further outward into the outskirts of LA you go, the less likely you’ll find legit barbecue, hence, why we chose La Canada Flintridge. And even harder to find one with a good cause. This takes us to the least thing we like about Los Angeles, the number of homeless people…almost 60,000, with more than 44,000 of them living on the streets. And the numbers keep rising.

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