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Operation Success: Jethro’s BBQ (Des Moines, Iowa)

Jethro’s BBQ is a name that is synonymous with Iowa. In less than 10 years, the popular neighborhood sports bars offering “amazing slow smoked meats” have become treasured institutions for those living near or visiting the Des Moines metro area.

Jethro’s BBQ logo

In addition to the original Jethro’s near Drake University, which opened in 2008, there are five other Jethro’s in the area that boast specialties reflective in their names: Jethro’s ‘n Jambalya, Jethro ‘n Jake’s Smokehouse Steaks, Jethro’s LakeHouse, Jethro’s Pork Chop Grill and Jethro’s Bacon Bacon. Each Jethro’s location is known for its own unique, signature dishes in addition to serving up generous portions of BBQ favorites.

“Jethro’s provides residents of the Des Moines area with a great source of hometown pride,” said Nick Hartkorn, sales representative for Sysco Iowa, who has worked with Jethro’s BBQ for several years and is a frequent customer. “This is a local business at its best, serving the community by providing high quality food in generous portions for a good value.”

Jethro’s BBQ logo

The restaurants’ loyal following of regular customers appreciate the quality and attention to detail that goes into the menu items at each location, according to Dominic Iannarelli, director of restaurants at Jethro’s BBQ.

“We stay true to the food, using real ingredients and making the majority of our food from scratch,” said Iannarelli. “I think our customers appreciate that we don’t cut corners and that we take great pride in offering high quality food.”

Jethro’s commitment to using the best ingredients to make its menu items shine is evident in everything it does, from its house-made sauces to its gravy to baked items like biscuits and corn muffins.

General Mills Foodservice is proud to supply Jethro’s with back-of-house ingredients such as Gold Medal® Corn Muffin, which Iannarelli’s team uses as the foundation for its famous corn muffins at every location.

He said they add a few ingredients to the muffins to make them their own and truly appreciates having a reliable product that allows for creativity.

It’s the Jethro’s team’s culinary creativity and high quality food that resonate with area customers, earning the restaurant national recognition, including: Men’s Health “Manliest Restaurant in the Midwest,” “Favorite BBQ” by Better Homes & Gardens and among Food Network’s “Top 5 Bacon Bites.” In addition, one of Jethro’s most famous menu items, a five-pound sandwich comprised of all the favorite foods from the former Drake University basketball star Adam Emmenecker, was featured in an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.”

Even with all of its national acclaim, Jethro’s succeeds by catering to the local Des Moines community, serving up amazing BBQ and other favorite dishes in a friendly atmosphere that make it everyone’s favorite neighborhood sports bar.

What’s the secret to Jethro’s famous corn muffins? Using Gold Medal® Corn Muffin as a base! Check it out here.