In Case You Haven't Noticed...We're Really Into BBQ

The Auto Be Grillin' World Championship BBQ Cooking Team

The Auto Be Grillin’ World Championship BBQ Team

No, I mean really into BBQ.  Some companies calendars revolve around a particular date - end of the quarter, end of the fiscal year or perhaps the release date of a product or service - ours is centered on the 31 days of May. During the month of May, the entirety of the BBQ universe converges on the bluffs of the Mississippi River to celebrate one of Memphis’ finest contributions to to the American experience: BBQ.

As a company that is proudly Memphian, United takes celebrating its fair city’s cultural contributions very seriously.  That’s why, for about two weeks during the Memphis In May International Festival’s World Championship BBQ Competition, United relocates its corporate headquarters to a makeshift tent along banks of the mighty Mississippi in downtown Memphis.  During this time we invite our family, friends, clients, vendors, and a whole host of others to celebrate our partnerships and successes, enjoy our beautiful city, and eat some of the finest bbq you have ever put in your mouth.  


We especially love hosting our Kansas City associates, allowing them the opportunity to truly enjoy a pure and authentic BBQ experience.  Don’t get us wrong, we like Kansas City BBQ, in fact, a primary factor in determining the location of our secondary office was a the quality of BBQ in the region.  Since we were already headquartered in the home of the country’s best BBQ, we had to narrow it down between Kansas City, Texas and the Carolinas. After extensive tasting and discussion, we decided that perhaps our business growth should mirror the history of the spread of BBQ throughout the United States AND the quality of BBQ in general. Thus, Kansas City was chosen as our backup contingency office.

Kansas City BBQ: a Memphis Original

Henry-Perry-Ad-The Kansas City sun Kansas City MoDecember 22 1917.jpg

It is a little known fact that the origins of Kansas City Style BBQ began Memphis.  Henry Perry, considered by most to be the father of Kansas City BBQ, was born in Memphis, TN in 1875.  Working in various restaurants in the Memphis area and on steamboats heading up and down the Mississippi River, Mr. Perry honed his skills of smoking meat in the birthplace and home of American BBQ. At the age of 32, Mr. Perry moved to Kansas City, where he began to serve BBQ out of an old trolley barn in the 19th and Highland neighborhood.  He sold his hickory and oak smoked meats wrapped in newsprint for twenty-five cents. When Mr. Perry died, Charlie Bryant took over the business. He eventually sold it to his brother Arthur Bryant. An employee of Mr. Perry, Arthur Pinkard also helped George Gates found Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q. Clearly, the “famous” Kansas City BBQ joints are simply a midwestern attempt to copy what is a Memphis original.  


With that in mind, and In consideration of current and historical secondary place that Kansas City in the history and rankings of American BBQ, United thought it was only natural to put our secondary office there.  And while we occasionally hear our Kansas City family quibble about whose BBQ/city is the best, we always love to treat them to America’s original BBQ here in Memphis...and we don’t hear them talking very much when their mouths are full...