Life

Man with Down syndrome has dreamt of becoming a chef – launches BBQ business to pursue passion

November 15th, 2019

We all have dreams, passions, and goals. While getting to wherever it is that we want to be is challenging, there is always someone out there who faces even bigger challenges than ourselves.

It’s not necessarily about the size of the obstacles that stand in our way, but how determined the person is in achieving their goal.

23-year-old Matthew Hessburg is a culinary whiz who just so happens to have Down’s Syndrome.

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

But that is only a fraction of his story.

Hessburg is from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He loves the outdoors, spending time with his family and friends, and as mentioned, food.

Hessburg dreamt of becoming a chef since he was a child. The ten days he spent at his grandparents’ house with his three brothers in northern Minnesota every year, helped cultivate a young man who viewed food and family as one.

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

He and his brothers would create their own recipes and even ate them together.

Now that’s loyalty!

They spent their days near bonfires, hiking, and making s’mores.

Hessburg realized his happiest and fondest moments centered around food and gathering with loved ones. He even began growing his own peppers!

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

Thus, when it came time to pick a college, he centered on a program that would both allow him independence and to follow his passions in the culinary arts.

He chose Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. They offered a program called the University Participant Program that provided an on-campus experience for students with disabilities.

There, he studied Hospitality and Restaurant Management and worked at the award-winning restaurant, Haywood Smokehouse, where he continued to hone his culinary skills.

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

As Hessburg’s skills progressed, he felt closer to his dream of opening up his own bbq restaurant one day.

“When you believe it’s possible, you can achieve great things in life,” he says.

He doesn’t show any signs of pumping the brakes!

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

Until he is able to open up his own restaurant, he achieved his goal of starting his own line of barbeque sauces! He spent a year researching, testing, and developing the perfect recipe.

Earlier this year, he debuted his bbq sauce, Matthew’s Bonfire BBQ!

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

He sells his sauces at farmer’s markets and local stores. At the moment, he has two sauces for sale that you can buy on his website!

Selling for $10 each, we’re told they’re quite delicious!

You can choose from the Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce or Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

Not only does Hessburg run his own business, but he gives back to the program that helped him along the way.

He wants to raise awareness about disabilities and help to create opportunities for all, despite physical and learning limitations.

His website states:

“A portion of the proceeds from all of Matthew’s Bonfire BBQ sauces goes to the University Participant Program at his alma mater and Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarships for individuals with Down syndrome.”

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

Hessburg proves to have a big heart. His slogan is, “good food, good people, together we’re better.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Would you try any of these amazing sounding sauces?!

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Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq Source: Instagram/@matthewsbonfirebbq

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Source: Inspire More

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