Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/55461

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Page 28 of 63

DAVID HEILBRONNER & BRUCE WILHELMSEN, BONE DOCTORS' BBQ LLC Before: Orthopedic surgeons After: Barbecue sauce gurus (and still practicing doctors) O rthopedic surgeons David Heilbronner and Bruce Wilhelmsen have success- fully launched a barbecue-sauce company while continuing to administer high-level medical care to patients in their respective practices in Virginia and North Carolina. "A lot of physicians will look to find second careers when practicing," says Heilbronner, co-founder of Bone Doctors' BBQ with Wilhelmsen. "For both of us, we used cooking as hobbies, and it expanded into a small business." Friends and colleagues for close to three decades, the two surgeons started forming their company six years ago when Heilbronner's daughter's soccer team was trying to raise money to play in Italy. "Since I've always cooked, I sold BBQ sandwiches at the soccer park," says Heilbronner. "People said, 'You need to open up a restaurant,'" he recalls. "But running a restaurant can be even harder work than being a doctor." Bringing the skills that make them excellent surgeons to the kitchen, the duo began experimenting with Heilbronner's original recipe. "Much like being in a lab, we kept notebooks and every change was noted," Heilbronner says. Soon the Original Bone Doctors' BBQ Sauce was born. They started working with co-packers, enduring trial and error in the process. "We found we would give a co-packer the recipe and, in order to bump it up to commer- cial sizes, they probably substituted inferior Bruce Wilhelmsen and David Heilbronner, Bone Doctors' BBQ LLC (continued on p. 59) ingredients," Heilbronner says. "It was hor- rible. We were very specific with what we wanted to go into the sauce to tick it up to a premium level." Step by step, they learned the ropes, finally landing the co-packer Bone Doctors' 26 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com COURTESY OF BONE DOCTORS' BBQ LLC

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