Fifty years ago, after feeding thousands as a mess sergeant during the Korean War, C.B. Stubblefield, known simply as “Stubb”, opened his own bar-b-q joint in Lubbock, TX. The ramshackle building soon turned into a hangout for local and touring country and blues legends who would stop by to play for a plate of their favorite bar-b-q. When Stubb later moved to Austin, he was urged by friends and patrons to sell his signature sauce. So using old whiskey bottles and jam jars, Stubb began hand-bottling his sauce for sale, corking each makeshift container with a jalapeño. While our bottling methods have changed, Stubb’s belief in legendary ingredients, hard work and careful craftsmanship remains the backbone of the company that proudly bears his name. We hope our sauces inspire you to create your own delicious dishes in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stubb’s bar-b-q beginnings.
March 7, 1931: Stubb's Birthday
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.
Stubb in the Army
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 honourably discharged from the Army with two Purple Hearts. Afterward, he returned to Lubbock.
Stubb's Bar-B-Q Opens in 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.
Stubb Leaves Lubbock
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.
Stubb's Re-Opens in Austin
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.
Stubb Appears on Letterman
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”.
Stubb's Sauce in the Grocery Store
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 flavours 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!
Demand for Stubb's Sauce Increases
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 Sells Marinades
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.
Stubb Passes Away
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.
Stubb's Austin Opens
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 Goes International
Stubb’s barbecue sauces and marinades went international, as our products began being sold in England.
Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Introduced
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.
Stubb’s Returns to Real Ingredients
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.
Stubb's is Certified Gluten-Free
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 Flavour.
Stubb's Goes Nationwide
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 flavour of poultry, pork, or beef.
Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce Introduced
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 flavour of each kind of meat: Bar-B-Q, Pork, Chicken, Beef and Steak.
Stubb’s Label Gets a New Authentic Look
Stubb believed, “We’ve got a very, very special thing here, dedicated to the people who love BBQ”. With that in mind, we redesigned the labels to harken back to Stubb’s roots and look more like the original handmade Stubb’s label.
Stubb’s Cookin’ Sauces Make Dinner Real Good and Real Simple
Stubb loved making great food for people to enjoy. Stubb’s new Cookin’ Sauces let customers create quick, delicious meals using their own fresh ingredients with the Stubb’s bold sauce and spice packets to bring on the flavour.
Stubb’s continues its tradition of giving you authentic Legendary Texas Flavour with quality ingredients. Many of our Bar-B-Q Sauces, Marinades and Rubs are now labeled non-GMO project verified!
Stubb’s 50th anniversary sauce merges two generations of Bar-B-Q experts – Stubb, and his grandson, Rocky. As a tribute to the legend himself, this sauce spreads Stubb’s “Love and Happiness” with rich, warm flavours like allspice, cinnamon and black pepper.
Stubb inducted to Barbecue Hall of Fame®
The American Royal Association posthumously recognized the significant contribution Stubb made to the barbecue community. Grandsons, Rocky and Reggie Stubblefield, accepted this top honor on his behalf.