Gary and Brenda Connell

 History of JAWS BBQ!

JAWS BBQ! INC is owned and operated by Gary, Brenda, Ben Connell, and Jessica Connell-Grose of Buckhannon, WV. We are a full-service operation specializing off-site catering, carry-out, concessions, and fundraising.

JAWS BBQ! INC was originally named Jaws Barbecue! And formed in the spring of 1998 to raise money for the Buckhannon First United Methodist Church youth mission trip to McDowell Country, WV. The first customer was The Rotary Club of Buckhannon.


In 2005 the official name was changed to JAWS BBQ! INC and remains a recognized leader in the state of West Virginia and nationally for BBQ, catering, concessions, and fundraising.

Thank You! From Gary, Owner of JAWS BBQ!

I would like to thank all my friends and family for the support that they have given me over the years as I have striven to fine-tune my many recipes.

My wife Brenda and children, Jessica Connell-Grose, Ben Connell, and son-in-law Rob Gross have been big supporters and have always had faith in my wild dreams to help me see them through – I love you all for being you!

I would be remiss if I did not thank Dave Barney for being there when I needed him. There were times when all the odds were against us, and we pulled it off! He is a true friend and mentor. And, of course, without my late mother-in-law Jean Boothe’s recipes, we would not be where we are today.

The staff I have at JAWS BBQ! INC is outstanding and very professional. As my Dad would always say, you are no better than the folks you have around you and work with every day. I am blessed with a great crew!


We have served all walks of life since 1998. The big ones are:

thank you!

And, of course, a big thanks to Big Bob Connell!

The list goes on and on! We cater over 80 events a year from casual to formal, Redneck to Socialites!!

  • The Friends of Coal Car show and Concert in Beckley, WV where we served over 5000 people in 4 hours
  • President George Bush's Beckley Presidential Rally in 2005. We served 1250 folks in 2 hours with 36-hour notice
  • Jackson County, WV Fair youth exhibitors and their families (1500+ two years running) for Around the Farm Store
  • The Upshur Junior Livestock Show and Auction for the past six years
  • The Friends of West Virginia Wesleyan College -- A local group of small merchants donate money, and we do a BBQ for the incoming freshman and their families the day the students move in. The average headcount is over 1400 people
  • CSX / Grafton, WV Yard 4th of July Safety Event for the past four years
  • Dominion (Clarksburg Main Office, Hastings Operation, Jane Lew, Mt. Storm and individual departments)
  • Re-sale catering for Riverbend, Buckhannon Country Club, and other local membership clubs