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Meet Ryan Hintergardt of JR Okie Smokie in We are located in Oklahoma City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Hintergardt.

Ryan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Back in 1997, the father/son combination of Tom Ross and Jeremy Ross of Ponca City, Oklahoma came up with an amazing recipe for some great barbecue sauce. This barbecue sauce recipe was sworn to secrecy and was only available in fine recycled ketchup bottles with the fancy name wrote in Sharpie on the outside.

Fast forward to 2015, 18 years later… After using the sauce for nearly two decades, a friend of the family, Ryan Hintergardt, got the idea to manufacture and sell the sauce along with Jeremy. The two partnered up early in 2015 and got the ball rolling. The name of JR Okie Smokie was settled on, using the J from Jeremy’s name and the R from Ryan’s name.

Both individuals currently work in the energy industry, while Ryan resides in Oklahoma City and works in oil and gas and Jeremy is in Iowa working in wind energy.

We currently carry three flavors of bbq sauce: original recipe, chipotle and hot. This past May our chipotle bbq sauce finished second (tied for first) in the World Series of BBQ Sauce in Kansas City.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Just trying to get the product in the hands of the consumer and figuring out the logistics of delivering has been a issue when you start from the ground up.

Please tell us more about JR Okie Smokie. What else should we know?
We only carry and sell 3 flavors of bbq sauce. We do sell online at Amazon and at our website, www.jrokiesmokie.com. We have finished with high regards with each flavor of our bbq sauce in the World Series of BBQ Sauce that is endorsed by the Kansas City BBQ Society. I think our flavor of our sauce sets us apart from the competition.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I have always thought the bbq sauce would sell before we starting making it available for sell. I wish I would have began selling it many years ago.

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