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Whole Foods BBQ kicks off summer

Posted: May 26, 2008 12:57 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Byron Webster, chef and creator of Jimmy Bo's Famous BBQ Sauce grills up some burgers and hot dogs at Whole Foods. The barbecue was part of the free Red, White, and Blue Memorial Day event where Whole Foods showed off some of their barbecue ideas and products

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It may have been overcast and chilly, but that did not prevent Whole Foods Market in Valencia from welcoming the warmer temperatures of summer with a Memorial Day barbecue Sunday.

For two days the market broke out its grills during their Kickoff to Summer Memorial Weekend Barbecue in the parking lot in front of the store, as a steady stream of patrons visited the makeshift outdoor patio to enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers.

Despite damp conditions on Saturday - the first day of the barbecue - and thick clouds overhead on Sunday, more than 100 hungry shoppers made the best of the not-so-summer like weather conditions at the three-hour event.

"Any day is a good day to barbecue," said Byron Webster, creator of his own Cajun-style barbecue sauce and the event's king of the grill.

He added to the ambience of the afternoon's festivities by smothering his homemade sauce onto each hamburger and hot dog for each customer to enjoy. "I created this sauce in my apartment nine years ago. It goes well with either hot dogs or hamburgers. There's been a steady flow of people here today enjoying the food."

Sunday's summer kickoff is the first in a series of events for Whole Foods, which anticipates that it will host another barbecue during Independence Day festivities on July 4.

In addition to providing free food during the Memorial Day weekend, Whole Foods also used the summer kickoff event to promote healthier eating and unique grilling techniques.

"We do a lot of barbecues, sometimes inside, sometimes outside," said Tina Landrum, the market's marketing supervisor. "We had to host the barbecue indoors on Saturday because of the weather, but it was nicer out today, so we brought it outside."

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