Lamar Jones

Lamar grew up eating delicious BBQ at family gatherings, but after years of adjusting store-bought BBQ sauces, he decided to test his culinary skills and develop his own special recipe known as “The Jank”, which means “too awesome to describe.” Lamar, a musician, moved from Florida to the Rio Grande Valley after a concert. He and his partner lived in a small two-bedroom apartment with little or no money and slept on the floor. Like many businesses, he started by word of mouth and was selling 10 bottles a month when he started. Fast forward to 2014 where he won the City of McAllen’s Innovation Grant Award and with the help of the RGV Small Business Development Center, he began not only to improve his product, he started to organize his business strategy. In 2016 he was one of the H.E.B. Primo Pick finalists. Through the SBDC and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, he was connected to Marlene at LiftFund. “I had no money and no idea where I was going before I heard about LiftFund,” Lamar said. “I used that loan to package my first few orders and start advertising for the sauce.” Today, The Jank boasts an impressive clientele- including the Pittsburgh Steelers, and hundreds of grocery stores across Texas—but Lamar has plans to expand the business.