The Schmidt family way... passed down from generation to generation.
1900 ~ A Tradition Begins
At the turn of the 20th century, Charles Kreuz Sr. opened Kreuz Market, a local meat market and grocery store, in Lockhart, TX.
Soon after opening, a Texas barbecue tradition was born. With poor refrigeration options and a great desire to avoid throwing out quality cuts of meat (even then, no one wanted to waste perfectly good beef) Kreuz was struck with an idea that would change Lockhart forever. Instead of tossing out the meat that hadn’t sold from the market, Kreuz ground the lesser cuts into sausage and cooked the better cuts over barbecue pits.
Folks would buy barbecue and sausage wrapped in butcher paper, and then they’d head over to the grocery to buy a few items to go along with it. Many customers couldn’t wait and would unwrap the meat using the butcher paper as a plate. From the beginning, Kreuz customers ate their barbecue with their hands, a trusty pocketknife, and no sauce.
1948-Present ~ The Schmidt Family Era
Kreuz’s son’s and Hugo Prove, a partner who invested in the business in 1924, sold the market to Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt, their long time employee who had worked there since 1936. In the 1960′s, Edgar closed the grocery but kept some of the more popular “side items” like crackers, bread, pickles, onions, and cheese for patrons of the restaurant. Many shoulder clods, sausage links, and happy customers later, Edgar sold the business in 1984 to his sons, Rick and Don Schmidt. Together they ran the increasingly popular restaurant until Don’s retirement in 1997.
By 1999, Lockhart was firmly entrenched as “The Barbecue Capital of Texas.”
Rick Schmidt moved Kreuz Market from its original home of 99 years to a newer, larger facility a quarter mile north of the previous location.
In the same year, Nina Schmidt Sells established Smitty’s Market in the building that housed her father’s Kreuz Market for more than 50 years. Smitty’s now sits in the same location where barbecue has been sold in Lockhart since the turn of the last century. Since the days the doors opened, John August Fullilove, Nina’s son, has been the pit master.
2013-Present ~ Schmidt Family Barbecue
Keeping the Schmidt tradition going at Kreuz Market, Keith Schmidt became the third generation to own the market when he purchased the business from his father, Rick. At this point Edgar's grandchildren, Keith, John, Susie Schmidt Franks
(Don’s daughter) and Chad Franks (Susie’s husband), got together and decided to expand the family tradition by opening a new restaurant together in Bee Cave, Texas.
Just as Kreuz Market and Smitty’s do today, Schmidt Family Barbecue will rely on generations of cooking methods and choice cuts of meat to achieve the flavor that so many have come to expect from the Schmidt Family.