The story of Brun Rub is a tale of determination, passion, and resilience that led to the creation of a successful BBQ rub business. Ed Brunson, the visionary behind Brun Rub, embarked on this journey when he received a charcoal smoker as a wedding gift from his mother-in-law. This seemingly ordinary gift sparked a culinary adventure as Ed sought to find the perfect meat and BBQ seasoning for his new smoker.
Ed's frustration with the available options in the market led him to experiment with creating his own BBQ rub. He raided his mother-in-law's spice drawer and blended the beginnings of what would eventually become Brun Rub. Ed, along with his family, faced numerous challenges and setbacks as they tried to bring their product to market, but their passion and determination kept them going.
The turning point for Brun Rub came during the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. With restaurant closures and increased demand for home-cooked meals, Ed's mouthwatering BBQ gained popularity, prompting him to turn his passion into a business. With the support of his wife, Chrissy, and their children, they began selling Brun Rub at local community markets and festivals.
The recognition of Ed Brunson's dedication came when Brun Rub was selected as one of five minority and women-owned small business vendors for the Saturday Shoppes program. The chosen vendors now have brick-and-mortar space downtown, thanks to a new partnership with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, allowing them to showcase their products at the St. Pete Store for 90 days. This opportunity provides invaluable exposure and education on retail processes. Renee Edwards, the founder of the program, emphasized the significance of this opportunity for vendors who had never had their products on store shelves before.
“This is history-making,” Edwards added. “This has never happened before. Some of these vendors have never had their products on anybody’s shelves. Ever."
Brun Rub not only gained the love and support of its community but also serves as a symbol of turning adversity into opportunity and pursuing culinary dreams with unwavering dedication. Ed Brunson's journey is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance in the face of challenges.