Recipe is key for the Oak Barrel Sirloin produced at Jon and Paula Bush’s new storefront in Parsons, Oak Barrel Processing.
“The final recipe was four years in the making,” Jon Bush said. “Over the years I’ve catered events for Kingsford employees and it was like holding a focus group each time. There were 85 people at a time providing feedback on the recipe.”
Although the final recipe is a secret, Bush said he uses Certified Angus Beef, a non-GMO meat product, and no soy. “I was looking for something healthy that doesn’t cover up the beef flavor and finally found the winning combination recipe,” he said.
The nearly 40 community members and supporters who attended the grand opening agreed as they were treated to samples of the Oak Barrel Sirloin. Bush was thankful to the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce for hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony as well as the sponsors of the Pitch Contest, a local economic development competition conducted earlier this year.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Bush said. “I’m a creative type of guy and am very excited about this. I’ve always wanted to customize the Oak Barrel Sirloin process and the Pitch Contest provided me the opportunity. The money I won allowed me to buy all of the components I needed to build the system and open up this new business.”
Bush, who also owns Piccolo Paula’s in Parsons and Big John’s Family Fixin’s in Canaan Valley, was one of two $5,000 winners in the inaugural event held in June. He also received the $1,000 Parsons Prize provided by the City of Parsons and $1,000 from Steve Nida, Branch President of the Woodforest Bank located in the Elkins Walmart, to help with costs.
Robert Burns, Executive Director for the Tucker Community Foundation, said the Foundation was excited to sponsor the contest and encourage entrepreneurs like Bush to use their talents to open and expand businesses.
“We are excited to help Jon realize his dream and celebrate the opening of a new business in Tucker County,” Burns said. “The Foundation is committed to providing resources to help Tucker County businesses. Jon is a great example for others to follow as we grow our local community business base.”
Bush said because the process is unique, he plans to pursue a patent. “The new mechanized system for Oak Barrel Sirloin took a five-day process down to two days,” he said. “The beef marinates for 48 hours in the oak barrels which are always kept in a cool environment. We are able to produce 1,000 pounds of Oak Barrel a week.”
Oak Barrel Sirloin (fully cooked or uncooked) can be purchased at Piccolo Paula’s, which is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 304-478-4020.
The Pitch Contest featured ten contestants pitching their business ideas to audience members and a panel of judges at Tucker County High School. Sponsors of the Pitch Contest included Vision Shared, WVU Extension Service, WVU Launch Lab, Tucker County Development Authority, United Financial Services, Woodforest Bank, Mountain Arts District, GovCon Accountants, Grant County Bank, Brent Easton Attorney at Law, Scott & Nypl CPA’s, Woodlands Community Lenders, the Tucker County Chamber of Commerce, Tucker County Commission, the City of Parsons, St. George Medical Clinic, Tucker County Community & Economic Development Fund, Mountain Valley Bank and Citizens Bank of West Virginia.