About Us

Oakridge BBQ Rubs | Handmade | Kearney, MO USA

team oakridge bbq

Hello and welcome to OakridgeBBQ.com, I’m Michael Trump (the guy on the left in the Oakridge BBQ t-shirt), Founder, President & Master Blender of Oakridge BBQ LLC; creator of World Class BBQ rubs and spice blends of uncompromising quality.  The guy to my left in the Operation BBQ Relief t-shirt (and 10-gallon hat) is Bryan McLarty, co-founder of Operation BBQ Relief and owner of the now world-famous 407 BBQ in Argyle, Texas.  This picture was over 10 years ago, and sorry Bryan, but we’ve both grown a lot older (and fluffier) since then…  😉

I started my professional barbecue career way back before the turn of the century — all the way back in 1999!  Originally, I competed under the name “The Hatfield Four” when I won first place with a perfect score on pork ribs at my very first contest. Over the next 6 years, I competed in quite a few barbecue contests (but not nearly as many as the top teams do today) and always placed in the top-ten in at least one category at every contest. This is where I began to hone my spice formulations. I was never happy with the commercially available BBQ rubs, so I committed to creating my own rubs from the very beginning. Because of my perfectionist nature, this commitment to quality began with using the finest ingredients I could get my hands on.

After about 5 years of competing at a few contests a year, family and finances began demanding more of my attention, so I stopped competing and started doing private BBQ catering.  Every client raved about our barbecue and recommended us to all of their friends.  Business grew exponentially, but I couldn’t keep up.  I was still working a 9-5 corporate job and just couldn’t find the time to do both, plus I began to realize in order to really grow the catering business, I was going to need a lot more money — which I just didn’t have.  So, after a few years, I gave up catering all together.

Then, fast forward a few more years to the winter of 2009, and something significant happened.  The following — as is the entirety of this — is a truthful matter-of-fact telling of the facts as they happened.  For the previous several months I had been feeling God nudge me about doing something new with BBQ, but I was resistant.  Then, one beautiful, sunny, blue-bird-sky winter morning as I was driving up North to my family’s farm to go deer hunting — as I always do every October thru December — something was different.  The sky was a deep vibrant blue, and the long morning shadows were especially golden and I marveled in them.  Then, as I was driving, I clearly felt the Lord speaking to me.  It was undeniable, soul piercing, unavoidable.  God said to me “Sell Your Barbecue Rub.”  I said, “What?”  He said, “Sell Your Barbecue Rub.”  I said, “Who, me? Really?”  He said a third time, “Sell Your Barbecue Rub.”  Right then, an overwhelming sense of purpose and clarity flooded over me right there as I was driving North on I-35, and with tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes Sir.  I will sell my barbecue rub.”

When I returned home from that hunting trip, I sat down on the living room sofa with my laptop and started creating Oakridge BBQ’s first website.  The next 12+ years are a blur.  We’ve created iconic blends which have shaped the course of competition barbecue.  We’ve lead the entire spice industry in exclusive use of high-barrier packaging technology which has paved the way for many others to leverage the same high-barrier technology.  Year after year, we’ve donated well over 10% of our net profits to Christ-centered charities focused on lifting up our widows, our homeless, our orphans and our fallen military heroes and their families.  And, we’ve set records with our sponsored team wins which remain untouched and continue to grow the gap year after year.

From that first day, Oakridge BBQ has remained true to our calling.  We source our own ingredients from Primary Source Suppliers.  We blend our rubs in our own production facility, by hand with the most potent and vibrant spices in the industry. Our blends are made in small, made-to-order batches so they are always the freshest on the market.  You can learn more about our unique production processes by reading our 100% Handmade article. I don’t get a chance to compete much anymore, so instead we built the most successful sponsorship program in the barbecue industry. Today, Oakridge BBQ sponsors over 95 Professional BBQ Teams from all over the world. Using our spices, Team Oakridge has amassed a staggering number of Top 10 Awards in Professional BBQ contests; over 9,200 at last count. So, it’s without exaggeration when I say we proudly offer the World’s Finest Barbecue Rubs.

So many countless wonderful things have happened since I first bowed my head and softened my heart to God’s leading.  I’ve been blessed to have been personally involved in so much of the core history of this post-modern barbecue revolution and I’ve made many life-long friends along the way.  I am truly excited to see where God sends me next…

As a testament to our commitment to quality and to our customers, Oakridge BBQ proudly offers a No Questions Asked 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on our entire product line.  Please contact us if you are ever unsatisfied with any of our products for any reason, and we will promptly issue a replacement, offer a substitute of your choice, or a full refund for the original purchase price, no questions asked.

Personally, I am a dedicated Christian family man and proud father of 4 awesome children (3 girls and 1 boy) and a grateful husband of 27 years to a wonderfully loving and patient wife and partner whom I love very much.  I am an avid outdoorsman and enjoy bow hunting for white tailed deer and wild turkey in the fall and fly fishing for trout any other month those rocky clear cold streams aren’t frozen over…

Finally, as a core part of our business model, we are committed to the giving of our time, talent and financial resources toward supporting local, national and global outreach organizations. Therefore, more than 10% of the profit made from EVERY SALE will be donated to support these causes.

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All of our rubs are 100% Hand Made in our own Production Facility