Family man and barbecue aficionado, Bernardo Cortez, shares his story about Brother B’s BBQ and Catering with #MyFortBend.
How did you get started in Texas BBQ?
I’ve been barbecuing for about 15 years now. Our culture is really big on cooking carne asada on a grill but I got introduced to smoking meats low and slow by a former Manager of mine and instantly fell in love! I started practicing by inviting friends and family over on the weekends while i honed my skills first with whole chickens and sausage sandwiches. I then started to try my luck with the bigger more traditional Texas BBQ Like Brisket and ribs. That led to small functions and team events involving my daughters softball team and I quickly realized that this was something I could see myself doing. I had a great job at National Oilwell Varco but eventually got laid off and I had to figure out how to bring in some financial help and ironically enough had a friend ask me to cook him a brisket; it was like a light bulb went off in my head! With the encouragement of our Church Pastor I went legit and gave it a shot!
What are some of the obstacles/challenges you’ve faced?
Overall yes its been pretty smooth. The financial side of running a business is whats been hard on me. I find it hard to charge correctly for doing something that I love; but the single greatest advice I have received from other small business owners is to know and appreciate my worth and my product!
Also having to have my daughter and wife dedicate their off time to help me during big catering deals has been tough on me because I hate for them to give up their off time and weekends, but they are a great help and I could not do it without them!
Tell Us About Brother B’s BBQ and Catering
I provide True Traditional Texas BBQ and Crawfish Boils Ranging for small parties to Large Cooperate Events. I also provide catering to schools and universities. I also have Sunday Specials like Turkey Legs and Boudin or Slab Sundays where we sell Whole Pork Rib slabs for 20 dollars.
I believe our Pulled Pork and sausage Frito Pie is our most popular dish. It consists of pulled pork, sausage, Oaxaca cheese, melring cheese, fritos, baked beans, jalapeño, sour cream and our own BBQ sauce!
I believe what sets us apart is that when we cook for our customer, we are cooking specifically for them. Hecho con cariño. We live in a BBQ saturated State with plenty of great BBQ everywhere, so we try to show our customers that small town gratitude for trying our food!
“My vision is to fuse Authentic Mexican Food using Smoked Texas Meats like pulled pork Chilaquiles and brisket enchiladas!”
What are some key elements or qualities that make you different from other BBQ joints?
I use quality cuts of meats, quality seasonings and a slow and low approach to cooking. I feel something is subpar in flavor or texture I will not sell it to our customer even if it means putting another 12 hours in to cook again and get the food back to the high standards in which we hold it to.
Again I believe showing our customers that we are cooking with their individual request in mind goes a long way, and showing them how gracious we are of them spending their hard earned money on our food!
“I attribute my success to my repeat customers wonderful feedback and word of mouth recommendations! My Fieldstone/Waterside Residents show me so much support throughout the journey!”
Who would you love to see try your BBQ?
Everybody! From the BBQ expert to the BBQ novice! I want to target the people who love great barbecue but might not want or be able to spend 23 dollars a lb on brisket.
The bulk-load of my marketing is thru social media. I believe people eat with their eyes first, so I try to take amazing photographs our food so hopefully I can entice them to try one day! I recently became a brand ambassador for Yellowbird Sauce based out of Austin Tx ; I use their hot sauce on a ton of my food so when i promote them they sometimes share my pics on their page it works as great cross advertising!
What future plans do you see for Brother B’s BBQ?
I see ourselves either here in Richmond Texas or Sugar Land running a successful Texas Mexican BBQ fusion joint! Maybe not Necessarily a brick and mortar establishment but more like a small town dive or joint. Preferably outside with awesome lights and great vibes! Eventually going to the Brick and Mortar plan!
Connect with Bernardo for your next catering event