Meat America Podcast #1 – Hosted by Code3 Spices & Red Meat Lover

Meat America Podcast #1 - Hosted by Code3 Spices & Red Meat Lover

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This is the meat America podcast presented by code three spices produced by red meat lover. And now your host, Joey and Mike.

Joey (00:18):

Hey everybody. Welcome to the inaugural episode of meet America podcast presented by red meat lover and hosted by code three spices. My name is Joel Lampi and this is my cohost microdose of itch of code three spices. What's up Mike bro. How are you doing?

Mike (00:35):

This is a very exciting day for all of them. We've been wanting to do this for a long time, two years in the making a code three spices and red meat lover and meet America and unify creative agency finally got together and we are we're at the point now where there's no return. We have a good idea of what we're doing. Absolutely. We're excited to provide a ton of valuable content to everybody watching this. Isn't going to be your typical podcast at all. Um, for a lot of people that have been following code three, they know a little bit about our story and we're going to sort of bring you, um, very unique, important people that are sort of uncommon go out of their ways to do great things for other people. Um, people that have overcome a lot of things, uh, we're going to be doing a lot of, uh, cooking episodes, right? Yum, uh, product reviews. Can't wait. Uh, we're going to get my main man, Chris bona Meyer head pit master code three. He's going to show us, um, everything from the competition side of cook, and we're going to do a lot of backyard items. We're going to have some, uh, super interesting guests.

Joey (01:50):

Well, I'm looking forward to that. We actually have a very exciting guest scheduled for our second episode. Can't wait to share that with you. Um, part of the name, the, the story behind the name meat America is really using meat and, uh, cooking, which Mike and I both have a passion for as a binder that brings the show together. And all of our guests, just like a bunch of friends sitting around a grill on a Saturday afternoon. You know, that's why you're there. But oftentimes the conversation goes in a lot of different directions and, uh, our guests, our stories are going to be, you know, those that are unique to America and that add that have great stories to tell. As Mike mentioned, I'm doing some product reviews and some cooking. And, um, before we get any further into the format of our show, why don't you tell us a little bit about code three spices, who you are and, uh, you know, how you got started with that? What's your background?

Mike (02:45):

Well, uh, born and raised in Catonsville, Illinois, where we're at right now. And right now we're sitting at old Harold distillery, um, which is literally probably a seven iron drive, small town America directly that way. Um, hometown, a lot of history in this town, old Harold they've been around for almost a couple of years. Now. It's a beautiful place. I mean, this really incredible, um, they're great people here and, uh, we're very fortunate. They're allowing us to utilize our space to not only help promote them, but, uh, do mean America.

Joey (03:20):

It's a great product. I'm actually sampling a little check pills right here. Yeah. What do you got there? I've got some spice room, right? So allude smooth,

Mike (03:33):

Smell your jet.

Joey (03:35):

It tastes good. No, no, I haven't. I'm going to wait. I'm gonna wait a little bit on the spicy realm so we can go

Mike (03:40):

Code three. What is code three? Um, we're almost eight years old. I was a police officer for 15 years and a town just North of us. Um, I know we're going to cover this a lot in a future episode. Uh, basically I was going through an extremely rough time of adversity in my life personally. And, um, as a law enforcement officer and I needed to get away just to sort of just get away from all the stress that I was dealing with. There was a lot of stress that no human really should all be going through at once. And it was probably my weakest point in time. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012. So I was working for another two and a half years throughout this mayhem and chaos that I was dealing with. Um, it wasn't a good time in my life. Um, I consider myself an extremely lucky person.

Mike (04:35):

I had to have two amazing parents. I had a perfect childhood, went to parochial school, uh, went to cowl high school. I was a three sport athlete, went to college, uh, played baseball at Francis Marion university. Fast-forward got out and became a police officer, uh, towards the end of my police officer, uh, law enforcement career. As I was saying, I was going through a tough time and cooking was my only getaway to come home. I was working 12 hour shifts. I was working, you know, only 15 days a month. Well, 15 days a month of not having anything to do can lead to trouble if you're not using it creatively or, you know, picking up a hobby. So I've been drilling since I was 18 years old. And I was like, you know what, now's the perfect time for me to come home after a long day at work or a day off and just cook, fire up charcoal, get my kettle going.

Mike (05:27):

At the time I had a gas grill as well. I had a little Weber smokey mountain, 18 inch, you know, and I didn't know what I know now about barbecue or cooking, but that was the start. And when Chris and I got involved, my business partner, you know, we're big sports fans being here in st. Louis. We were spoiled with the Rams. We're not going to talk about the Rams who exactly, um, Cardinals and blues man. So we'd go down to our, one of our favorite watering holes and just talk sports. And literally barbecue came up every time. So Chris and I, we started competing on the amateur side and we found out real quick that we were pretty quick learners. And that's really when it all started, Chris came up with our first three blends. Um, and the story goes that, you know, we put it in a bottle, threw some stickers on it, and that was the beginning of something. We had literally no idea of where it was going. We always had a vision from day one or where we were going. Um, but this thing literally took on a life of its own within the first, I'd say, uh, after 36 months of being in business, it was no longer a hobby.

Joey (06:36):

Okay. So before we go forward, I want to go back a little bit. I mean, you talked about cooking as a, as a form really. I mean, you didn't say it directly, but you almost touched on upon, upon it as a cooking is almost a form of therapy, right. A way to kind of get away. It's beyond therapeutic. And I think, you know, many people out there, you know, can relate to that statement. Um, it's a way to kind of clear the head, um, to get out, to do something different. And especially during this quarantine, which we're in right now, um, we're all locked inside with our families, which can be a gift, but too much of it can also go the other way. Um, so, but even I want to step back even further to the moment when you decided to become a police officer out of college. Can you tell us a little bit about what led to that decision? I mean, I know you have a big following with first responders at code three. So tell us a little bit more about,

Mike (07:24):

So here's the little time that I, I didn't go to college to learn like some kids, I went there to play baseball. Um, I was a pretty gifted, um, individual when it came to being an athlete. Uh, you know, it, my playing days in college, I was a six, four, two 25 and didn't have much of anything on me. My whole life was baseball from the time I was a little boy. Um, all I want to do is become a professional baseball player. My older brother, Bob he's eight years older than me. He played, he had time in the white Sox organization. Um, when he left, um, professional baseball, he became a police officer. So there is a trend, you know, I always looked up to my brother and I always, my brother was a goalie in high school. I was a goalie in high school.

Mike (08:11):

Um, my brother was a catcher. I was a catcher. He became a police officer. I wanted to become a police officer and I would do ride alongs with him from the time I turned 18 and I was hooked. I mean, I remember like my first week on the job as police officer, a good friend of mine, Bob Davis, he's an awesome human being. I'll never forget this. I told him, I said, uh, I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this. And he just started laughing. Keep in mind, he's like a 20 year police, but laughing his ass off

Joey (08:37):

Laughing because he knew, he didn't know, really knew what else

Mike (08:41):

I was green. And, you know, I was just excited to play my part in society. You know, I couldn't believe that I got to drive around in a squad car and talk to people in the community and go, uh, look for bad guys doing bad stuff. You know, it was, it was a whole new world to me, you know, and that was a big appeal to me as far as law enforcement goes. But, um, you know, I went through a couple of burnout phases as well. Um, you know, that's where a lot of police officers, you know, they don't tell you in the Academy, you know, that they don't tell you about the divorce rate. They don't tell you about the suicide rate. They don't tell you about alcoholism rate or drug usage rate or PTSD PTSD wasn't even talked about. I was the first Academy class after nine 11, just to put in perspective.

Mike (09:27):

Okay. So w they didn't talk about that stuff in the Academy, you know, um, just to sort of go into this. I have a neighbor, had a neighbor, um, young kid, 25, uh, had some twins, newly married, and he's like, man, I really want to become a cop. And I'm thinking to myself, Oh, I don't want to discourage a kid, but I want to tell him what I know now and now with the media, the way it is and the way society has changed, it's very tough to be a police officer nowadays, ever since the Ferguson effect it's been, um, you know, not, I don't want to go into the media issue on this first episode, but it posed a massive problem to today's law enforcement, how they are treating the perception from the public on the, I have law enforcement, how they handle things.

Joey (10:18):

So, you know, I totally agree with everything you're saying without going too far into that. Um, I can definitely see the challenges of being a police officer with some of the perceptions that are out there. And I think social media has expanded that. Um, I want to know, you know, as a police officer, you have to see some crazy I can you share with us just like a crazy story and also the wall story, something that you saw that just kind of sits with you and resonates with you still to this day?

Mike (10:44):

Well, I mean, that's the thing it's, you could be a cop in a town of 500 people nowadays, or you could be in New York city or new Orleans or Chicago or LA. It doesn't matter where you're a cop. Things are gonna happen no matter what. Um, one of my earlier my, my first pursuit was an eye opener. Uh, that was a wild one. High-speed, uh, it was high speed. Um, that was, we'll save that story for another time. Right. Right. You know, obviously we had, um, the marital church shooting back in 2009, 2010. That was a pretty rough day. That's something we can go over at another time. Um, one incident I'll never forget was it was in the middle of summer and it was one of those July evenings where it was like 85 degrees at one o'clock in the morning. So, and it was just miserably, hot

Joey (11:40):

Thinking 85. And I'm wondering about the timeframe, because that doesn't sound too bad for July around here.

Mike (11:44):

Yeah. There's this little hotel off the interstate. And, uh, I was driving and I see this person, I didn't know what gender it was. Um, had black boots up to his knees, had a black skirt on and a black halter top. And he had his hair in a ponytail and he had this handkerchief around his neck and he's riding this bike while he saw me. And I'm like, Oh, I gotta go check this out. So I'm creeping up to him. And he starts pedaling real fast and I lose them around the corner of the hotel. Well, his door's cracked and I see what door he goes in. And I was like, Hey, man, I just want to talk to you real quick. And I'll give you the elevator version of this part. So I get his name, we run it. Criminal history comes back off the charts, some dude out of Indiana.

Mike (12:31):

Um, he was getting so nervous when I was asking specific questions that he bitten the top of his lip and he bit a chunk of it off. And it's just sort of dangling bleeding. My, my, uh, Sergeant that was on, he was up at Madison County at the time I had zero backup. So I said, you know, I was only two years on the street at this time probably. And I had that gut feeling like, okay, you know, back off a little bit, I can revisit this here. After I get hold of my Sergeant, whatever I let the front door staff know, you know, at the hotel and four or five hours go by, I get hold of the surrounding cities and tell them, and, uh, Sheriff's can be 1130 midnight, whatever it was. We got a phone call saying that he was bothering patrons. I sat in the other.

Mike (13:20):

So I pull in the parking lot and it's just a two level hotel. And there's windows like this, you know, basic hotel rooms in the, everything was open and this guy's wearing this get up still. And he's just mumbling stuff at a high rate of speed. And he sees me and he flips out and he's got this Fanny pack on. And he pulls out what looked to be like a revolver out of a feeding pack. I don't have a Fanny pack. So by this time, uh, two neighboring cities were already in route. Um, a city North of us was just showing up on scene. And so basically let's see if this is the window here. I was where you were. Okay. And I'm on this side, any pulls a gun and we're both drawn sort of angle, but if we would have shot, it could have ricocheted off here and hit you or vice versa.

Mike (14:13):

Well, luckily we figured out that it was a fake gun because of the way the handle was. We noticed that after the Oh, crap factor, you know, so by that time the Calvary was coming. Uh, I think we had four, four cities show up. We probably had 10, 12 units there. Um, and I'll caveat with, uh, basically he was a paranoid schizophrenia on methamphetamine. And does that sound like a good combo? No, it's not a good combo. And you know, I'm, I'm a pretty big dude. I'm six, four. And I was at that time probably two 50 working out a lot. He was probably, if I remember correctly, five, 10, maybe a buck 70, well, we had to kick the door in and the fight was on there, six cops in this room and I've never seen anything like it. Me and another guy, my size were on top of this guy.

Mike (15:03):

And the craziest thing was, you know, he probably had over 400 pounds of man on him and he literally stood up. He said, I ain't going anywhere. And he ended up taking three taser rides. Um, a couple of times strikes to the leg, uh, mace and a close range beanbag to the chest. And we finally got him handcuffed on the ground and we pulled out switchblades on each side in his boots. Um, he had our, if I recall, I think it was a 40 caliber bullet, uh, hidden in his underwear. Um, he had a switchblade tucked in back here. I mean, it was, it was off the charts. It was little armed up. Yeah, dude, it was wild, you know, and at the time I was loving it, you know,

Joey (15:52):

The thrill is that when you say he loved it, was it the, kind of the excitement of being in the moment? Well,

Mike (15:57):

Part of it, I think for most people, um, when you've got other officers there with you, obviously safety is the main concern for everybody. We didn't know. We were the only, um, this guy was ready to take us all on, you know, but this was the first time I ever transported a prisoner with lights and sirens to the County. And the next day I had an arrest in the afternoon, which was a Sunday. And I took my prisoner up to County and one of my good buddy jailers up there, Mike, he goes, you're not gonna believe this guy. Hasn't gone to bed since you brought him in really. So a lot of the story unfolded, but I mean, that was one of many, many, many, many, multiple crazy things I could talk all day about crazy.

Joey (16:44):

I have a friend of mine from high school, um, who, uh, was an officer in st. Louis County. And he ended up, I'll never forget the morning. I turned on the news and they were talking about officers that had been shot. And, um, I was very sad to learn that one of them was my friend who, uh, ended up, uh, paralyzed and still in a wheelchair. So, um, some exciting moments. I know there's a lot of danger out there and, um, you know, it's service we need in our communities. Um, unfortunately there's, you know, like any part of the world, there's going to be some bad actors and, um, you know, to protect people, safety, um, we need heroes, really people who are gonna go out there, risk life and limb for the preservation of society, the safety of society and all its members. So that's a great story.

Joey (17:31):

Um, I can't wait to hear a couple of other ones as this podcast moves along, but kinda, I wanna jump forward now into that moment. You're, you're in a bar you're with Chris, you're having some drinks and talk us through the ideation behind code three spices and share a little insight, that story, because I do think that there's something very, very inspiring about someone who, you know, is willing to stretch their comfort zones by someone by that. I mean, someone who is a police officer, who's now going to go into business for themselves. And I think hearing your story will provide some inspiration, maybe for others who are considering, you know, trying their hand at a business that they might not be familiar. Here's what

Mike (18:12):

The reality of it. This thing has been like a blink of an eye to me. It hasn't been easy. Um, but has been Chris and I's baby. This is our extreme passion. Um, you know, it, when Chris, before Chris and I even signed our papers in the corporate, um, we decided we're donating a percentage of every sale to first sponsor military organizations. Um, and I'll just hit on that real quick. So with me being thrown all that adversity, it only made sense because I made relationships with a couple of PTSD groups that we are gonna help find, um, organizations that, uh, provide, um, resources to these men and women that need it. Thankfully, I was never in a position where I wanted to harm myself. Um, the weird thing for me was the amount of depression that I felt for the first time, uh, the anxiety that came with it, the unknown of being a single dad, all of a sudden, um, you know, my mom was getting put into a home.

Mike (19:16):

I was going through a divorce. My sister was passing away from cancer. Um, I had three miles of mud to crawl through. This is the way it felt every day. And, you know, that's, that's probably been the biggest takeaway from all this it's really helped form who I am. Um, it's matured some of my beliefs that I already had instilled in me that sort of, uh, gave it a, some credence to, you know, how you should live your life. Um, but with that said, you know, it's a, one of those deals where with us giving back to these organizations, one is the right thing to, to, but two, I have met so many people throughout this journey that I've had it much worse than me, um, that do have suicidal thoughts. Um, they're going through such a tough time in their life that they're not being a healthy individual for their, uh, mate, girlfriend, husband, kids, whatever the situation is. Um, a lot of cops have their, and first responders in general, they see a lot of things. People see that you're not supposed to see as a human being, right. And that catches up with you. So, you know, that's just sort of the nutshell version of why we donate. Obviously we have back stoppers here. What do you know about, you know, anytime there's a, a fallen first responder, they come in and they're an incredible organization. They are amazing people too.

Joey (20:45):

And you guys I'll toot your own. You guys code three spices, donates a, uh, usually a pretty good sized check every year. It's their guns and hoses is it's their signature event, which happens in st. Louis. It's a police officers versus firefighters in a boxing ring. And you guys are always there handing out a check.

Mike (21:05):

Yeah. Um, you know, and with that said that that's, what's cool about this. So, I mean, we get to go to bed at night, knowing that we're giving our heart and soul growing this company, not for self gratification, but for our community and the men and women performing duties that no one else in this country would even think about doing, you know, and let's not even talk about what they're getting paid. Right. Okay. That goes for teachers that goes for a lot of, lot of people, but that was the gist of code three spices, you know, Krisha, Chris is the head competition guy for the company. Um, you know, so you don't see me a lot anymore on the competition trail, you know, that's, Chris's deal, that's his baby, he's running with it. He's one of the top cooks in the country, whether it's steak or whatever he's competing, you know, we have a barbecue supply.

Mike (21:57):

Um, we've got a lot of different wheels in motion. So, you know, I have my kids every other weekend. So, um, there's two weekends out of the month and it's just me and the kids and that's dad and kid time, um, that's not go out and play and compete or hang out with the guys. Uh, Chris and I stay extremely busy enough to where, you know, any downtime for me is, um, it's very important. So fast forward to now, that's sort of where we're at now. It's, um, but with this thing taken on a life of its own, it's, it's become really incredible, to be honest with you.

Joey (22:30):

That is incredible. It's incredible to see businesses growing and succeeding and you guys have, by all measures achieved a lot of success. And for everyone at home or anyone who's listening, who's maybe has that idea in their head. I want to kind of dig in a little bit more on that origin story. So, you know, you meet Chris, how do you guys go from there? You know, you have this idea of, from a, to create a, a spice, the spice market is competitive, at least from my perception. So can you walk us through a little bit about the ideation stage of the company? Is it Chris has a rub, you guys see some opportunity there? Tell us a little bit more,

Mike (23:12):

Well, first off, I mean, me and Chris were so madly in love with barbecue to begin with. I didn't want to do anything else moving forward. That was, that was easy, you know, but I was having a really bad night, uh, on a midnight shift. One time and things had died down. It was about three o'clock in the morning. I was like, man, what can we call this? You know, and things were going, I was talking to him, my buddy, Steve, that was a police officer in the town next door. And I was like, code three is perfect. We'll call it code three spices. Just because it's an, you know, basically an international term of first responders going to, uh, an emergency call. So I figured, well, you know, that'll, that'll cover a wide array of all this. Absolutely. And then I was thinking, well, what about logo?

Mike (23:57):

You know, well, basically if you look at our logo, we took an old bud light beer can reversed everything and just put Guthrie spices in the middle. And we had red for fire blue for police. So there was our red and blue you brandings and then spicing it up for those who serve with us, donating back. Um, so that's really how that all got started. Um, but honestly, you know, there's, um, throughout this whole thing, there's only been a handful of people that were like, you're crazy for doing this, you know, whatever. Um, and you're going to get that with anything that you want to put your best foot forward with. Um, that was really how it started. And then brother, we just went full force. We don't take any date. We haven't taken any days off for years. Um, both Chris and I, this has been our baby. You know, I left law enforcement, he left his job and it's been two people busting our balls from the time we get up until the time we go to bed for the last seven and a half years.

Joey (24:54):

So do you consider that the key ingredient to your success is the work ethic or what now? Um, cause here's the deal.

Mike (25:04):

We are, you mentioned it earlier. We are in a very highly competitive industry. You walk into any grocery store and you've got Durkee, McCormick, sweet baby. Ray's you got a plethora, a full row of spices and sauce now. Right. We knew what we were getting into, but we also did our homework and reached out to some pretty important people in our industry, like sweet baby Ray. Um, who's a very, very dear friend of mine that I look up to, um, you know, so to stay on track, you know, I think that it was just well received because uh, people could see our passion about how much we love cooking and how much passion me and Chris put into our products. I mean, we don't rush anything to market. You know, this is attached to us. This is attached to our last name. We're very prideful people. Um, but the key to our success is really embracing the tough times as a startup company. Um, because of humbles you. Um, absolutely. The other key is meaning Chris, we've never given up. We've always been positive. Um, we've always thought outside the box, but here's the main ingredient that here's the main ingredient for me and Chris's success.

Mike (26:20):

It has to have you, you have to have the purpose behind your mission a hundred percent agree. So the very first real experience I had was probably six years ago, I got a phone call from, um, a police officer out in California and he said, Hey, I just saw one of your posts on Facebook about safe call now who we donate to. And he goes, I called that hotline. And he goes, my wife was on the phone with me and they got me into treatment and he goes, two days ago, I had a gun in my mouth, you know, so that was when it first hit me like, okay, we are getting out there, we are making a difference. You know, that's just one of many, many stories now, you know, but, um, perseverance is key just like I said, crawling through the mud, um, whether it was me trying to overcome my obstacles with depression and anxiety, um, or just growing a business.

Mike (27:13):

I mean business as an easy period, I mean, check it out. It is not, we've been in business almost eight years and we are literally just getting started. You know, I have a couple people that I really look up to, uh, Chris Klein and Andy Frisella from first form and supplement superstores. And they were kind enough to sit down with me and Chris dude, this one been almost six years, I think. And I'll never forget that meeting because it was so raw and real that it was inspiring just in the sense that they took the time to sit down with us, you know, and to look back, to see where we evolved into now. Um, it's very self gratifying because, uh, I, Chris and I are so busy that we don't have time to be like, Oh, look at us, look what we've accomplished. Look what we just did.

Mike (28:03):

Look at all these stores, whatever it is, we don't have time for it because we planted so many seeds from day one that each day, each week, each month, we're dealing with a new tree that has popped up from planting that seed. So we've diversified from day one. That's another key to our success. But the other key to our success is having products that are off the charts. You know, um, a lot of guys throw a bunch of stuff in a bottle, put a label on it with no thought and say, I'm gonna sell, I'm gonna become a millionaire doing this. It doesn't work like that. You've got to sell thousands of bottles daily to be profitable in this industry. Well, I just want to

Joey (28:40):

Stop you right there and share it with everyone. How I met Mike and Chris was at the national barbecue and grilling association conference. Um, I think about two years ago now, and you guys have given a presentation on some of your background as a company the next day, they had a group of some real big name pros who were on the stage in a sort of a, I guess I'll call it a fireside chat for lack of a better way. And one of the questions they got, or what are some of the steps that we need to take to start our own spice company. This was coming from people in the audience and every single one of them said, do not do it. It's too crowded of a space. There's other challenges to getting into big box retailers and everything else. I always find that I always kind of mentally go back to that and find that very inspiring that we have a bunch of pros out there saying, don't do this right now. Maybe some of that is for their own benefit, cause they don't want new competitors in their space. But to hear about the story and the path you guys walk to create a name for yourself in this space is absolutely tremendous. How many stores are you guys in right now?

Mike (29:46):

Oh, I think we're approaching 3000 maybe. And I know we're adding 1500 ACEs this year. Um, we've got a lot on the books for the rest of the year to get into, but it's funny though, because you touched on that. So like, this is what's awesome about our industry is everybody gets along. Everybody supports each other, you know, we've got a barbecue supply, so we're selling our best buddies products too. Right? We're not just selling our stuff. We're not the only kids on the block. You know, all boats rise together. So we, we all love cooking and barbecue. We, we love that community. It's one of the best communities out there. Um, but what I want to touch on was like what you were saying about when people say that the industry is crowded, this, that, or the other, we don't, this is our baby.

Mike (30:34):

We don't have anything else. We put so much time into this company. This is all we know. Um, we have too many people supporting us. Um, fear of failure is at an all time high. Um, and that's ingrained into me and Chris right now because you know, people come up to us and you know, the popularity individually or business-wise has really, really been out of control over the last couple years. But at the end of the day, it's just two guys that love barbecue that had this desire to be the best in the industry. And also at the end of the day, we're already seeing this unfold. We're seeing companies not do exactly what we do, but they're wanting to give back. So we're trying to, to be a leader in our industry. There's nobody else in the grocery store is doing what we're doing, right. Not to our level, you know, and that's probably what we're most proud of, but the sky's really the limit with it, you know? So, um, yeah. I mean, that's basically it in a nutshell.

Joey (31:36):

Yeah. As you say, it's been eight years and we're just getting warmed up. I hear that in ALPA Chino's voice kind of screaming and we're just getting warmed up, but you know, you talked about your passion for barbecue. And so, you know, we've all been there where we're just sitting around the grill for the first time, the second time. Um, and you know, there's a learning curve. So how did you learn? Was it through trial and error? Was it through kind of talking with buddies, having them over? What's a little, what's a little bit about the story behind the passion and the process

Mike (32:05):

Trial and error man. But I mean, ever since the internet man with Google and all these cooking shows on TV now, barbecue pit masters, American grill, Steve Reich, and the list goes on and on. That's where I was hooked. You know, I look at barbecue, you mentioned barbecue, therapeutic. It's very therapeutic to me, but it's almost like a full circle religious experience for me because one, I think one of the best things a human being can do for another person is feed them. So when you go and you pick out whatever you're going to cook, you're checking that out, right? You're buying your certain spices, you're lighting the charcoal up, you see the fire ignite, you see the charcoal catch, you smell the charcoal, which has an amazing smell. It'd be cool if we can like bottle that up and use that as like a man perfume, right? Um, you know, you get your coals going, you get your meat on the grill. And if you're grilling, you hear the sizzle. I mean, there's all these sounds and smells.

Joey (33:04):

We've got one very important sound. The sound of that beer. There you go. You got it. Speaking of God, this is good,

Mike (33:16):

Real good. But you know, the best part of the therapeutic part of it for me is you've got sort of this downtime. You're you're you have to pay very close attention to detail with that piece of meat or wherever you're cooking, because there's a lot of science behind barbecue. That's why I think a lot of chefs don't really like messing with barbecue. Cause it's sort of out of their realm. There is a lot of science behind it, but at the end of your cook, you get to, you put all this hard work and time and energy into this, you know, cooking ordeal where now Joe, here you go, buddy, take a bite. I'm nourishing your body with barbecue. Absolutely. You know, how much more American can you get than that? I mean, that's what community is. And that's what I love about barbecue. That's why I say it is sort of a religious experience because you know, I could smoke it on me and you see all these people out there with their families, their neighbors are sitting down, having a drink. Kids are playing, riding rides, doing whatever it's all about community. That's why I love everything about barbecue.

Joey (34:20):

So old saying no one has friends over to microwave, right? We're, we're all there to, uh, you know, the food like the show, the food is what kind of brings everyone to the table. There's a community aspect to it. As you mentioned, um, you talked about smoking on main, I think people listening to us for the first time, aren't familiar with that. What is smoking on me?

Mike (34:41):

Uh, basically we're literally a half block, maybe full block away from main street here in Collinsville. Uh, we shut down five, six blocks and we have about a hundred teams come in from all over the U S uh, to do a backyard event, uh, pro event and a state competition association event SCA uh, we have bands, we have kids rides. We have Anheuser Busch, Clydesdales. We've got, um, all kinds of different things going on and this'll be the fourth year now. I don't know where we're at because of Krone right now. Right. Um, we should hear something here pretty soon about that, but I know that the first year was a learning experience, turned out good. Um, it allowed us to know what we needed to work on for the following year. Uh, the city has been tremendous. This, this whole, this town is just unbelievable to begin with. They really support code three and everything we're doing. Um, but I think last year I think we had, we estimated anywhere from 50 to 60 in attendance. So it's become sort of a destination competition in the Midwest.

Joey (35:42):

It's a great event. You had the competition barbecue guys, as you mentioned, you had the steak Cookoff association event. And the interesting thing about that was if I recall correctly, the guy who won that event had never competed in a car

Mike (35:53):

Earliest first cook. Yeah.

Joey (35:55):

And that to me was really inspiring, you know, that, uh, that there's still a lot of opportunity out there for people who want to compete in the competitive barbecue

Mike (36:03):

And grilling space. Why don't we, uh, why don't we tell the people sort of what to expect from meet America?

Speaker 3 (36:13):

What were the methods and recipes for cooking meat in restaurants across America is we showcase experts on location in their restaurant kitchens to educate, inspire and entertain tune into our travel cooking show, meet America only on YouTube and red meat Yeah.

Joey (36:33):

From, from my view, it's way to, uh, share, you know, let me step back when I went up to national barbecue and grilling association

Mike (36:41):

And I met experts from all across the country from

Joey (36:43):

Texas to Kansas city and the Carolinas. Um, the one thing that really dawned on me was that sense of brotherhood was that sense of community that was out there. You had the guys from Texas sharing barbecue tips with the folks from Kansas city, from the folks, from the Carolinas and so on and so forth. And it was really neat to me to see that humility among the pros. And so one of the things that, you know, one of my goals for this show is to be able to bring those experts to our audience, to share with them. I think that there's no faster pathway to becoming good at something, then pigging back piggybacking off of the failures of where people have messed up. Right? Why do I need to go out and recreate the same mistake that someone's already made when I can learn from that and get a leap forward?

Joey (37:31):

The other part of it is, is that, you know, I think there's always a story to tell, right? Uh, outside of the pit masters, there's a lot of really, uh, there's a lot of things that really tie back that make us uniquely American talk about our culture and that really resides in the stories and then the people. And so, you know, my heart wants to bring some of those people, some of those guests, uh, tour audience to share their great stories, um, across a myriad of professions and backgrounds, things that, uh, will, hopefully people will find some inspiration in hopefully things that people will find some humor in as well. So really looking forward to that and also sharing, you know, uh, sharing great products that are out there, um, is, uh, you know, something that I think can accelerate your pathway to success. Right. Well, just knowing the tools, right? You're not, not going to be a great carpenter if you only have a hammer and nails.

Mike (38:22):

Well, that's the thing, man. I mean, if you follow any of our Instagram stories, I mean, I'm using all my buddies products. I'm not just using my stuff, you know, so that's what I'm excited about. I'm excited to get exposure to a lot of people in our industry that we admire as far as them personally and their products. Um, I'm really excited to get Chris on here and spread the knowledge that dude has. Um, I'm pretty good at the cooking game and I know what I'm doing, but Chris has just on another level when it comes to the competition side, that I'm not. So I'm excited about that. I'm excited about getting some of the top pit masters and country on this podcast. Um, we've also got a lot of, uh, surprises up our sleeve for the people that we can't talk about as far as guests go, which is gonna be pretty cool. So at the end of the day, that's sort of a, uh, the beginning of something bigger than we thought it was going to be, which is

Joey (39:13):

Yeah. And I forgot to say it's just a lot of fun too, you know, I think you said at one time best if we can get it, get up every day and talk about barbecue and grilling, that's a pretty damn good life. So I mean, Chuck man, I've had a great time chatting with you on this first episode and I look forward to many more to go. I want to thank everyone at home and who's seeing this on YouTube for checking us out today. Please stay tuned. We've got a lot of great things. Mike, if someone wants to buy a code three spices or any spices, barbecue gear, how can they find you around the web?

Mike (39:42):

Yeah, you can go to code three or if you want to shop our storefront, you can go to code three BBQ, Um, we usually ship within 24 hours and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Um, we're very active on Instagram, on our stories. Uh, we post a lot of how to tutorials as well. Um, but that's where you can find us.

Joey (40:01):

Okay. And, uh, you can find me, uh, at red meat or on YouTube by just typing in red meat lover. We release new video every single week. Typically it revolves around my food journey as I've gone through the process of being new around the grill to where I'm at today, but we also have a very exciting program there'll be launching in September. So anyway, look forward to the next episode, brother, right on subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel at red meat, and learn more beat America

The Meat America Podcast is co-hosted by Mike Radosovich of Code3 Spices and Joey of Red Meat Lover. In this inaugural episode, we talk more about the backgrounds of the Mike & Joey and the scope for this Podcast.

Mike Radosovich is a former police officer from St. Louis, Missouri. He turned his love of bbq into a career. First, by creating an award winning BBQ competition team. Now, Mike and his partner Chris manufacture 5 specialty BBQ spice blends that are a staple in any grillers’ spice rack! You can find these spices and more a

The founders of Code 3 Spices come from a background of military and law enforcement professions. They appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into those professions. Code 3 Spices donates a portion of their profits to organizations that support police, fire, medical and military personnel.

The Meat America Podcast presented by Code 3 Spices will “meat” experts to discuss incredible stories, business and life advice, meat (of course), and much much more! Like a bunch of friends gathered around the grill,. The meat brings us together but our unique lineup of guests will take the conversation in exciting directions. Are you ready for an adventure? Follow along every week as we Meat America!


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