By Michelle M. Sharp, Founder and Content Creator of Meet the Minnesota Makers

Heading up north soon?

Plan your trip around some “true Northwoods Barbecue” from Baptism River Barbecue Company in Beaver Bay. Your tastebuds will thank you later.

Husband and wife team Kaylee and Dan Cahill Mathews established Baptism River Barbecue Co in the summer of 2020. “It started with a love of making food and getting to share it with others,” said Kaylee. “Food has always been a focal point in our relationship and even more so when getting together with friends, family, and our community,” explained Dan.

Fostering community is a core value for Kaylee and Dan. They use local ingredients as much as possible including local produce, meats, the maple syrup in their barbecue sauces, and locally harvested woods including maple, birch and alder. “We call it ‘true Northwood Barbecue’ since much of its flavor is due to the products that we are able to find in this region!”

The Baptism River itself plays a big part of their story. They got engaged in 2018 at High Falls on the Baptism River. That fall they bought their first home together. After moving in they discovered a decommissioned snow mobile trail that leads right to the spot where they got engaged! “Since living on the North Shore the Baptism River has been our ‘backyard.’ It’s the source of many of our favorite memories,” said Kaylee. “It only felt fitting to name our small business after it!”

Kaylee and Dan’s favorite part of their co-owned business is the friendships they’ve formed both with customers and with local collaborators. Their local partners include Yker Acres for meat, Minnesota Syrup Co for their maple syrup, and produce from Agate Acres, Finnskogen Farm, and Wolf Ridge Farm.  

Baptism River Barbecue Co, a mobile food stand, operates every weekend Friday-Sunday. Their usual spot is the Red Raven North. Red Raven North is a full-service bike shop and motel.

Visit for their current schedule, to buy gear, or to send a gift card for someone to enjoy true Northwoods Barbecue on you!

Follow @baptismriver_barbecueco on Facebook and Instagram for menu updates and happy customers.

Follow @meettheminnesotamakers on Facebook and Instagram for more change makers who make Minnesota an amazing place to be!

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