We began small, but you helped us grow. Here’s our story.
Our reputation for high quality cuisine began in Indiana way back in 1967 when the original “Nelson,” Nelson Gongwer, invented his patented Port-a-Pit cooking unit. It’s the same portable cooking unit that made our barbecue famous right here in central Illinois.
This special cooker grills meat over an open flame, systematically dipping it into a special sauce every five minutes. It’s how our entrees are grilled and flavored to BBQ perfection every time.
Before we were dipping entrees over open flames for the entire region, though, our own Nelson’s Catering began right here in central Illinois out of the back of a hometown IGA.
A family friend and owner of the store made a deal with Josh and Doug Lindvall: the rent would be 10% of their monthly sales. And although the first month’s rent topped out at just $2.50, the Lindvall determination and hard work ethic pushed the business to grow and flourish into the industry veteran that it is today!
In addition to our famous barbecue, Nelson’s Catering has expanded over the last 20 years into a variety of other cuisine, including drop-off catering, reception and wedding catering, special events catering for corporate clients and much more. Our culinary team has developed a list of very fine catering menus and continues to create more menu items that our clients love.
Everyone at Nelson’s has the same diligent, hard work ethic and high focus on strong customer service. Because of our commitment to pleasing others, we’re fortunate to be able to continue spreading tasty foods and friendly service all over central Illinois.
For additional history & information, please see our Meet Our Team section.