KANSAS CITY, Kan. – There’s a pair of KCK sisters who are known for their barbecue, but they’ve recently come across some newfound fame after being featured in the Netflix show “Queer Eye.”
Mary “Shorty” and Deborah “Little” Jones have been cooking up barbecue for nearly 40 years.
“All the credit goes to my dad and my brother,” Mary said. “All we did was took what they taught us and kept it going.”
Mary said the week she and Deborah spent with the Fab Five of “Queer Eye” was the best week of her life.
“Those are five of the finest people I’ve ever met in my life,” she said. “Not for what they done — because I got to know them personally — but for who they are.”
The show, which filmed season three in Kansas City last summer, is known for its “emotionally charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals.”
“They treated us like queens,” she said. “We were free for those seven days. No interruptions, no headaches, time that you’re tired, none of that. It was just freedom.”
Mary said the experience put “the fire” back in her. The highlight of her experience was when the Fab Five surprised her with a visit to the dentist to fix her teeth.
“What it did for me was give me something I had lost in myself,” she said. “I had a tendency to cover my mouth, but I like to smile.”
The two sisters, both in their early 60s, deserved all the pampering they got in the show. After all, it was just their fourth vacation since taking over the business from their dad 39 years ago.
“That was the best week of our lives so far in this life,” Mary said.
One of the toughest parts for the Jones’ sisters in the show was when they were challenged take a leap of faith and mass-market their secret BBQ sauce.
“I think our guards were up because it means so much to us,” Mary said. “That was passed down by our dad.”
The sisters were reluctant at first but eventually agreed to bottle the sauce and now are getting orders from around the world.
“We’re very humble and very grateful,” Mary said.
As of Monday, the Jones had already sold 11,000 bottles, but Mary said that number has likely tripled since. An order takes between seven and 10 days to arrive.
On Thursday, the sisters’ brother added another smoker grill to the restaurant to help with the growing attention they’re generating because of the show.
Mary said it’s all overwhelming, but the Fab Five were a Godsend.
“After 39 years, I guess he said, ‘Y’all done worked hard. Now I’m going to send somebody in to pick up the pieces and show you the rest of the way.'”
Deborah wasn’t available for an interview when FOX4 visited Jones BBQ because she was at the “sauce plant” tasting their bottled product.
Jones BBQ is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until they sell out, which happens regularly. They’re located at 6706 Kaw Drive in KCK.
To order some of their secret BBQ sauce, click/tap here.