Mike D's BBQ

History

Mike D's BBQ is an award-winning line of signature BBQ sauces and all-purpose dry rubs. The owner, Michael “Mike D” De Los Santos, discovered his love for BBQ at a young age on a family trip to North Carolina at a small restaurant. He eventually worked on a food truck where BBQ was served and he became the preferred cook of customers because of his talent and creativity. His appreciation and curiosity outlasted his career in the kitchen and fueled his journey in search of the perfect BBQ products. He began writing a blog reviewing different brands and ultimately came to the conclusion what he was looking for did not yet exist. To find what he thought was the perfect combination of sweet, smoky, and a little bite, he would have to create his own! 

Our sauces are a twist on the traditional BBQ sauce with some unique seasonings and spice levels inspired by Mike D’s African American and Latino heritage. Mike D’s BBQ sauces are also a nod to the rich and well-deserved notoriety of BBQ in North Carolina history and culture. They are a hybrid of the two dominant flavor bases that make up the state; tomato based sauces in the west and vinegar based in the east. A core ingredient of our BIG Sauce is our all-purpose dry rub which is great with beef, pork, any bird, or vegetable. Our Sweet and Spicy rub is the heart of our Spicy BBQ Sauce. Whether you are in your kitchen, backyard grilling, or smoking our sauces and rubs are the perfect flavor compliment by not overpowering the natural flavor of the meat or vegetables.

In 2009, an early version of our Spicy BBQ Sauce, was entered into a competition for amateur sauce makers in North Carolina. We finished in 3rd place overall and 2nd in its division! It was then that friends and family encouraged Mike D to take his product from the backyard to the masses and since then we’ve won many more awards including World Champion for our all purpose rub! In 2017, LHWH Advertising and Public Relations in Myrtle Beach reached out about working with us on a commercial. They produced an amazing commercial which has gone on to win 9 international marketing awards!

 

Our business is not only the result of a long process of refinement and innovation. It is also the product of the owner’s love for family and community. Mike D started Mike D’s BBQ to honor the life and memory of his late son, Aaron. In 2020 on Discovery Channel’s “I Quit”, Michael shared his work ethic is inspired by his son’s battle with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, in which Aaron “had no choice but to fight.” The show followed small business owners as they transitioned from their day jobs to their businesses full time, while being provided the insight and prowess of three successful entrepreneurs. Viewers across the United States and Canada connected with Michael’s story, as well as admired his drive, professionalism, and genuity. They were overjoyed by the finale where it was revealed Michael was awarded a $100,000 investment. 

In September of 2020, Michael opened Mike D’s BBQ Supply & General Store in historical east Durham, a community identified as an integral part of the city’s past and future. At 306 South Driver Street, customers can purchase Mike D’s BBQ award-winning sauces and rubs, locally made custom grills, Mike D’s BBQ branded apparel, grill tools, food items favored by Mike D made by NC vendors, high quality charcoal and much more. 

  • Memberships: NC Specialty Foods Association, Got To Be NC
  • Proud Sponsor of #39 Ryan Sieg and RSS Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series
  • Preferred Sauce and Rub of Duke University Athletics
  • Tailgate Partner with NC State Athletics