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Daily Inspiration: Meet Brandon Kendrick aka Bken In The Kitchen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Kendrick aka Bken In The Kitchen, The new face of Kansas City BBQ Sauce.

Hi Brandon, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
From an early age, I’ve always had the passion for cooking and creating my own version of recipes. I come from a lineage of great cooks. From my Grandma, the late Alice Howard and my mother Carla Howard, it was only right that I would be blessed with a skill to provide exquisite and creative culinary dishes. My journey in starting SmoQin Spirits BBQ Sauce started in New Orleans, Louisiana in the Summer of 2018 at the Omega Psi Phi Grand Conclave. While attending a local event, I tasted my very first Hennessey wing. I was enamored by the concept of pairing spirits with food, as I had been making infused pound cakes for years, but never had I tasted Hennessey on wings. The wing was good but it was missing authentic Kansas City flavor. Upon going home, I told my mom about it and sought out to create the perfect flavor. My mom had stumbled across one of my grandma’s recipes for a sauce that was full of flavor and a true embodiment of KC Style BBQ Sauce. I put my own unique spin on her recipe and added the cognac and SmoQin Spirits BBQ Sauce was born. SmoQin Spirits BBQ Sauce pairs authentic KC Style Sauce with your favorite Spirits. It is also tribute to my grandmother as her spirit is flowing in every bottle.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has been up and down. I’ve mastered the recipe received my nutritional facts and my sauce has been officially tested for quality. I’ve created partnerships with a local iconic restaurant, Wings N Things, who serves my Mango Rum BBQ Sauce and it is now featured on their menu. As far as struggles, I had to shift my original plan of trying to supply venues of entertainment due to covid but I was able to pivot during the early stages of the pandemic and create a holiday box item that sold very well.

Unknown costs has been the other struggle. There are so many costs with bringing one flavor to market from test batching to labeling and obtaining the nutritionals. I currently have seven flavors that will see the light of day in due time.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a full-time employee for the Federal Government. I am starting my 7th year with the Social Security Administration. I’m a proud HBCU Alum, graduating from Lincoln University of MO. I currently serve on the Foundation board and I’m the youngest member on it. I’m also a co-creator of a scholarship fund, Young Alumni LU, where we provide book scholarships for graduating seniors. I’m also a product of the KCMSD and proud alumni of Lincoln Prep, I have my MBA from Baker University. I am a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

When it comes to what sets me apart is my brand. Bken In The Kitchen is about love & creativity in the kitchen I cook from a place of love. I make meals as if I’m feeding my parents. The creativity comes from thinking out the box when creating dishes. I call myself the remix chef as I take an average recipe remix it and create a new hit. I provide the Extra for your ordinary dishes making them Extraordinary…

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I have quite a few VIPs that have pushed me to pursue this passion I have for creating culinary items. Family, Friends, & Frat alike. They actually help in all capacities of the business: be it legal advice, graphic design, marketing ideas and concepts, or simply being taste testers. They are all social media advocates and brand enthusiasts. They are what I call my personal tribe and the tribe is growing daily.


  • Cognac BBQ Sauce $10 18oz
  • Cheesecakes- $30 – $60
  • Pound Cakes – $40 – $50
  • BBQ Sauce Sampler $25 ( (4) 10oz Jars )

Contact Info:

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