Monday, December 11, 2023

Northwest District Officer and Her Husband Are Prolific Barbecue Sauce Makers

Officer Kenia Breedlove’s living room and kitchen are crammed with assorted cookware, utensils, measuring cups, spices, and cardboard boxes containing plastic bottles and adhesive labels, everything that she and her husband, Chef Billy Breedlove, need to create and package barbecue sauces, wing sauce, hot sauce, and salad dressings. Those supplies would normally be tucked away in a pantry at their 2,000 square-foot restaurant in Kendall, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it forced them to shut down. They decided to reinvent their business, and instead of serving brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and other traditional barbecue plates and sides at a restaurant, they built up a line, from home, of over 20 “Café 305” handcrafted barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and dressings; and began selling them online, and at farmer’s markets. Her kitchen resembles a test laboratory, and perfecting a single recipe can take weeks. All of their products are made with natural ingredients and no preservatives. And because the sauces have lower sugar content, they can be used as flavoring for other recipes, as a marinade, and for people who are on sugar restrictive diets. By the time they get a barbecue sauce in the bottle for sale, they have gone through about a dozen variations.

“Everything happens in my kitchen right now, my house is all business, there’s no personal stuff,” she said. “The whole first floor is like that; the business took over. But eventually I’d like to reclaim my house.” The couple would like to open a local restaurant again in about a year’s time, and then branch out to other states, such as Tennessee, Maryland, and Illinois.

Given her side job, Officer Breedlove, who was born and raised in New York City, is in high demand at the Northwest District station whenever there is a cookout. “Yup, every time there is an event, they want me to bring food and sauce, so I always end up cooking for the station. And sometimes, even when there isn’t an event, I’ll bring food, like this past Monday, just because.” In addition to the sauces and dressings, she does offer ready-to-eat barbecue locally through the website and gets some sells through word- of- mouth. Her culinary life is a departure from her job at the station, where she staffs the front desk. On any given weekday, she helps dozens of visitors with background check applications. A line begins forming in the front of the station as early as 4:00 a.m., five hours before the lobby opens.

Officer Breedlove also helps citizens with any other assistance they need, whether it is pulling paperwork on cases, or taking calls from residents about quality-of-life issues in their neighborhood. She has been with the department since 2005.

Some days at work can be more exhausting than others, but she still puts in several hours each night working with her husband to tweak recipes until they are to their liking, and even then, they will seek feedback from their neighbors and coworkers. “We have tasting parties at my house, take notes, and go back to the lab,” she said. Their products can be purchased from the company website:

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