Todd Larson turned his passion for barbecuing into a full-time business

Todd Larson turned his passion for barbecuing into a full-time business

This is the third of a three-part series on winners of the 2014 Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition. Todd Larson is the third place winner. For more information about the annual competition

You don’t have to ask Todd Larson to tell you about his passion for barbecuing.

He’ll volunteer it.

For example: He has a signature barbecue rub that he spent three to four months developing before he decided it was the “right flavor.” Then, just for fun, as he puts it, he started experimenting with a barbecue sauce.

His life-long passion for food got the best of him after completing the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneur business plan competition this winter. In early May he took a giant leap and is now following his dream full time.

In addition to the BCE contest, helping make his dream come true, Larson took a 30-hour barbecue cooking class in Centerville, Ga. He also purchased a trailer, as his business is mobile.

What was the most difficult part in the entire process of launching Larson Barbecue? “The hardest part is believing in yourself,” he says.

After a spring of selling his barbecue in various local venues he’s beyond the doubting stage. He’s so busy now that he’s trying to figure out how to find the time to manage the business.

Here’s where you’ll find him this summer. You’ll probably stand in line to purchase his product because it’s now available until sold out. It’s almost always sold out.

“We’re selling about 45 pounds of meat at each farmers’ market,” says Larson. “Our menu includes pulled pork sandwiches, briskets and ribs. The briskets seem to be the biggest seller.”

He starts cooking 12 hours prior to each event. Assisting him in the sales of his products are his daughters, Mattison and Maci.

Larson’s Barbecue schedule:
Tuesdays from 11 to 1 p.m. – Bluffton Community Market
Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. – Lima Farmers’ Market
Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. – Ada Farmers’ Market
Friday’s from 4 to 6 p.m. – Arlington Farmers’ Market
Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon – Bluffton Farmers’ Market
Sundays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Bluffton Dairi Freeze

His business mission statement accurately sums up what he’s all about: “To provide customers the best barbecue they can experience. This is done with dedication to quality, great customer service and a friendly fun environment.”

With no pun intended, Larson said that he’s also looking for additional sales at a Findlay site. When if finds it, “that should fill the plate,” concerning his summer schedule.

More information:
Todd Larson
Larson Barbecue
514 W. Elm St.,
Bluffton, OH 45817

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