Sara and Mitchell Matzek’s journey to opening The Q Company has taken years of hard work, dedication and a common passion for making delicious Texas BBQ.
They met 12 years ago, fell in love and found they shared a common interest in making barbeque. Over time, they began developing recipes and sharing their food with friends while dreaming of one day opening their own restaurant.
The Matzek’s first big break came in 2010, when they were chosen to be featured in - and ended up winning - the Food Network’s show “The 24-hour Restaurant Battle“. The competition puts two couples against each other who are challenged to open a restaurant in NYC in less than 24 hours.
Through the show, they met many high-profile mentors and coaches who gave them the push they needed to take their dream of opening a restaurant into a real life operation.
“It was great to get validation from some pretty big people that we should be doing this,” Sara Matzek said.
This year Mitchell Matzek was named one of the 30 best BBQ pit-masters in the country and was invited to cook at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami, Fla. in February. He cooked alongside famous chef’s, such as Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri, which gave them the final push they needed after years of people telling them, “you’ve got to open a restaurant!”
The Matzek’s returned home from Florida and signed their Leesburg lease immediately.
It felt like a big risk, the couple said, as both have professional jobs. It never seemed like the right time to abandon secure, well paying jobs during a difficult economic period.
As part of their criteria, they wanted to find a landlord who believed in their dream and was supportive.
“At 17 Catoctin Circle, we loved the gas lamps, outdoor patio, the size of the interior space and the property management and landlord are phenomenal,” Sara Matzek said. “Everything inside the restaurant was done by us. Paint was paid for by cashed in 401Ks, we are spending every last dime to sell our BBQ, which we have been told is some pretty great BBQ."
The Matzeks wanted to keep the menu simple, offering delicious food at affordable prices. The menu includes slow smoked beef brisket, smoked pulled pork, smoked sausage, spare ribs and beef ribs. The sides are a choice of potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese and sweet potato fries.
“Our food is different from what people have experienced in this area so far," Sara Matzek said. "It is traditional Texas BBQ that is slow cooked in a state of the art smoker from Texas. Everything is fresh every day. When it is gone, it is gone."
The restaurant offers the fundamentals of BBQ in an easy low-key, casual atmosphere and they hope to draw in a wide demographic of people. Some of their ideas for the future include inviting local musicians to perform. They are also hoping to feature other local businesses, such as Catoctin Creek Distillery and wine from local vineyards.
The Q Company officially opened on Sept. 5 and will hold a grand opening later in October. For now, they are working on training their staff and perfecting the restaurant experience for customers.
"We have not done any advertising or promotion yet, it is all word of mouth," Sara Matzek said. "The first month has exceeded our expectations and we have even sold out some days."
The Q Company is located at 17 Catoctin Circle, SE, in Leesburg. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information call 703-777-8767.