By Amy Taylor
Mission BBQ in Woodbridge specializes in barbecue, honoring American heroes and giving back to the community.
The restaurant’s food is always freshly prepared. The recipes are homemade and handcrafted. There are no freezers or microwaves, and the meats are oak-smoked and dry-rubbed.
“We do it the American Way—freedom of choice! We dry rub our meats and offer an array of sauces to choose from to represent the cities we visited that were our inspiration—from Texas to Kansas City, the Carolinas to St. Louis,” founder Bill Kraus said.
“It’s oak for smoke. This works well when you have a 12- to 14-hour smoke time on brisket or pork. We smoke with real oak hardwood all day, every day,” founder Steve Newton added.
When you visit Mission BBQ, the founders’ absolute must-try recommendations are the North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich, the Texas-Inspired Beef Brisket, Bay-B-Back Ribs and Maggie’s Mac and Cheese.
Mission BBQ Honors American Heroes and Gives Back
Part of Mission BBQ’s culture is giving back to the communities in which the restaurants are located. The company strives to be a first responder to first responders.
“We believe there is nothing more American than BBQ and nobody more American than the brave men and women who have sworn to protect and serve our communities and our country. We do what we do for the love of our firefighters, police officers, first responders and our soldiers—all our loved ones in service,” Kraus said.
Kraus’ sons both proudly serve in the U.S. military. His eldest son, Warrant Officer Andrew Kraus, serves with U.S. Army Aviation, and his other son, Lieutenant Alex Kraus, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, currently serves with U.S. Marine Corps Aviation.
Mission BBQ’s Woodbridge location supports the local fire charity, the Johnny Thomas Foundation and Law Enforcement United. On a national level, the Woodbridge location contributes to the United Service Organizations (USO) and Wreaths Across America.
“We want to give our time, talent, treasure and touch to make our community a better place,” Kraus and Newton jointly said. One of the restaurant chain’s recent charitable efforts was the 9/11 Hometown Heroes cups event. Through the support of their customers, $2 from every plastic cup purchased was donated to local fire and police charities. The Woodbridge location raised a total of $4,108 in contributions.
In addition to charitable donations, Mission BBQ strives to hire military veterans, former police officers, firefighters and other heroes.
“It’s an honor to have any American hero join our team, and we welcome the opportunity to have them with us,” Kraus said.
Mission BBQ currently has 71 locations in 15 states, and it’s still growing. The founders target growth to 80 restaurants by the end of the year.
“We just want to be in great neighborhoods with great people,” Newton said. “We’ll go wherever there are people who love barbecue, love America and her heroes. The Woodbridge community represents that.”
Amy Taylor is a contributing writer for Prince William Living magazine.