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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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 flavor.
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.