stubb holding bottles2

Stubb’s Story

A West Texas hero with hands the size of briskets, C.B. Stubblefield, known as simply “Stubb,” didn’t just make barbecue, he made friends. His wide, trademark smile roped anyone into the spirit of the moment, whether it was singing the blues or savoring his slow-smoked brisket with slaw and beans.


Stubb got his first chance to cook for the masses as a mess sergeant in the U.S. Army, transforming his mess hall into the first incarnation of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q restaurant. After his tours of duty in Korea, Stubb moved to Lubbock, Texas where, in 1968, he christened Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q. The restaurant was located in a ramshackle white stucco building that was long in character but could only fit 75 patrons.


Before long, Stubb’s “Blue Plate” specials gained quite a following. Famous and soon-to-be-famous musicians like Joe Ely and Tom T. Hall came by to “sing for their supper.” As sure and steady as his cooking, Stubb’s little restaurant gained national attention as a not-to-be-missed blues and barbecue house.


In the mid-eighties, Stubb moved his restaurant to Austin, Texas. Many of the same artists who jammed at the original restaurant stopped by the new location—though quite a few of them had grown famous by that time. Everyone from presidents to celebrities stopped in to experience Stubb’s unique brand of love and happiness.


Not long after, at the urging of his friends and restaurant patrons, Stubb began hand bottling his sauce in Joe and Sharon Ely’s home using jam jars and whiskey bottles corked with jalapenos. Joe took some of Stubb’s sauce with him to a performance on Late Night with David Letterman, sharing it with the staff and the famous host. The buzz about Stubb’s sauces then caught on like a West Texas brush fire, and Stubb himself was invited to be on the show. When Letterman asked him what made his sauce so good, Stubb famously answered, “Love and happiness.”


Today, Stubb lives on in his all-natural sauces, marinades and rubs, continuing to make people feel good all over the world. Though he started with only one sauce, Stubb’s full line now contains 6 sauces, 4 marinades, 2 injectable marinades, 5 rubs, a moppin’ sauce and a wing sauce, all of which bring Legendary Texas Flavor to any meal.


As Stubb said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a cook.”



March 7th, 1931

Christopher B. “Stubb” Stubblefield is born in Navasota, Texas to a Baptist evangelist preacher and his wife. One of twelve children, Stubb’s family made a living picking cotton.



While serving in the Korean War, Stubb was a mess sergeant. His friends say the mess hall was the first real incarnation of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. In 1967, Stubb was honorably discharged from the Army with two Purple Hearts. Afterward, he returned to Lubbock.



The first Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q opened in Lubbock, Texas. The original building was small, only able to fit 75 patrons (though occasionally a few extra squeezed in to catch some live music). It was here that Stubb’s name first became synonymous with barbecue and blues.



A series of events forced Stubb to close his doors in Lubbock. “Let’s put it this way, I got run out of Lubbock ‘cause I was broke, busted, and disgusted. I can’t fight the IRS with barbecue and sauce,” he told Texas Monthly.



Not long after closing the original restaurant, Stubb reopened Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas. The building was located off I-35 in Austin.



After Stubb’s friend Joe Ely took a bottle of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauce with him to his performance on Late Night with David Letterman, Stubb himself was invited to the show. He cooked for the audience and crew; this was where he first told the world that his sauces were made with “Love & Happiness”.



With recipes from the original Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q restaurant, Stubb began selling his Bar-B-Q sauces in grocery stores. The first two Stubb’s flavors were Original and Spicy. At that time, Stubb was still making everything by hand using a 60 gallon cooker and a paddleboat oar to stir the sauce!



Eventually, Stubb couldn’t keep up with demand for his sauce and continue making it by hand.  So, he sought out people who could still make it in small batches, but had a larger capacity for production.  The story goes, Stubb was waiting in a conference room for these new folks to try and recreate his signature recipe when suddenly, he looked up from the table, sniffed the air and proclaimed joyfully, “That’s Stubb’s!”



Stubb was out selling his sauces.  He spent much of this year visiting tradeshows, where he cooked up buttermilk pies, black eyed peas and other fixings to help build his business and his name.  Around the same time, Stubb came out with two marinades, one for chicken and one for pork, to make cooking even easier for folks at home.

1995-Stubb passes


In May, Stubb left us to tend to the smoker in the sky, and now there’s some extra Love & Happiness looking out over barbecue lovers everywhere.

1996-Stubb's Austin


Stubb’s Austin, the restaurant and music venue, opened at 801 Red River.  Stubb had been very involved in the planning of the restaurant, but he left us too soon to see it completed.



Stubb’s barbecue sauces and marinades went international, as our products began being sold in England.

2004-Smokey Mesquite


Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce became available in stores.  Since Stubb was an experimenter in the kitchen he would have encouraged the company to continue coming up with new recipes for Love & Happiness.



With increased public interest in high fructose corn syrup, Stubb’s wanted to ensure that our products were consistent with C.B. Stubblefield’s original recipes.  This lead us to a renewed commitment to using natural sweetners like sugar, brown sugar, and molasses. Around the same time, Stubb’s Honey Pecan Bar-B-Q Sauce, Hickory Bourbon Bar-B-Q Sauce and Texas Steakhouse Marinade were all released.



Love & Happiness have been in Stubb’s products since the beginning, but starting in 2010, Stubb’s products were certified gluten free, so just about everybody can enjoy Legendary Texas Flavor.



Stubb’s tradition of sharing good barbecue with everyone continued as Walmart began selling Stubb’s products, allowing customers to find them nationwide. This year also marked the release of our new injectable marinades: Texas Butter and Chipotle Butter. These delicious marinades bring a warm, buttery taste that enhances the flavor of poultry, pork, or beef.



Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce, a delicious balance of heat, brown sugar and molasses, hits store shelves. In addition, Stubb’s creates a new line of rubs formulated to enhance the flavor of each kind of meat: Bar-B-Q, Pork, Chicken, Beef and Steak.