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Meet Frank Sobczynski of Frank’s BBQ

Today we’d like to introduce you to Frank Sobczynski.

Hi Frank, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Frank and I own Frank’s BBQ here in Baltimore, MD. I started out just as anyone else would start out; cooking barbecue in my own backyard. This hobby quickly became an obsession and the obsession turned into a lifestyle.

After a brief stint of working with the Horn Barbecue team out in Oakland, California, I started Frank’s BBQ while still living in the Bay Area. We were successful in our first year of operations back in 2019, mostly doing corporate catering and pop-up events at bars in San Francisco. Then Covid-19 hit California hard. With the restrictions that were placed on the food industry, I made the decision to reposition Frank’s BBQ to my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has not been a smooth road. Not only is starting a business tough but making a move 3,000 miles across the country and scaling a business during a global pandemic is even tougher. Everything we had worked for in our first year out in California was just gone. All of our events just dried up. Much like any entrepreneur, we’ve been dealing with fluctuating commodity prices and Covid restrictions.

However, the highs still outweigh the lows.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Frank’s BBQ is a barbecue business hosting pop-up events and providing catering in the Baltimore area. We cook small-batch artisan barbecue often selling out at breweries and other venues. Our pit-cooked meats are slow smoked and all of our sides are made from scratch with each batch of ‘que. We don’t mass produce our barbecue, so it’s first-come, first-served.

What sets us apart is our charity work within the community. Upon moving back to Baltimore, I started networking with individuals that are just as passionate about cooking barbecue and doing charity work as I am. We’re known as the ‘Baltimore BBQ Initiative’. Between this group and Frank’s BBQ, we have delivered 300 meals to healthcare workers, collected over 200 winter coats for those in need, and donated 100 toys to children of survivors who have fled from domestic violence. We’ve also collected thousands of dollars in fundraising for various causes. This is the tip of our iceberg.

I believe anyone can start a business, but for me, it’s about making a positive impact on your community.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
You’re allowed to take breaks, but you’re not allowed to quit. There are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to entrepreneurship, especially with Covid restrictions. We’ll adapt to change. But this journey has never been about a destination, it’s been about the people.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Douglas Crowther Photography

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