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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Off the Desk and Into the Sauce with House of Q in Vernon, BC

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If you are tired of mixing the same seasoning spices every time you cook a steak, then you have to meet Brian Misko. If you are not up to making your own BBQ sauces from scratch, when quickly needing to grill a pork chop, or slow smoking a butt, then House of Q is your home. You have something in common. If you are in need of tasty BBQ seasoning spices and sauces for your cooking hobby, there is a Q solution.

Brian built a business from it. He created base seasoning and saucing for his out-of-control hobby and then shared it with other like-minded BBQ and grilling enthusiasts. It quickly became the go-to for customers pressed for time, with no appetite for compromise. People that require award-winning foundations for their love of meat. He called it House of Q.

Successful companies come from innovative entrepreneurs that invent products or services out of necessity. People who take their products to market for others to also enjoy. Brian is one of the best examples of how to start such a business. He is selling something he made, like, and use regularly. By doing it, he is adding value with his products, advice and support, to other like-minded enthusiasts in his BBQ industry.


Episode 1 - Cooking with Yoders

Episode 2 - Cooking with Q


Escaping the Pod

It is an all too familiar, yet, still an inspiring story. According to Brian, it started around 2004. His cubicle in the software industry became too small. His escape was the discovery of his love for cooking. More and more of his time went into this passion. BBQ competitions followed. Before long, a little media attention, and voila! House of Q was born as a byproduct of this drive for award-winning food.

BBQ'ers have few choices for making a living from their passion. Some will call it art. Many cater to functions. A few start restaurants or smokehouses. Even fewer become entertainers. Starting a manufacturing business and launching a consumer brand with the name "House of Q" is probably one of the hardest and gutsiest ways to earn a living.

Brian escaped his pod. Today he spends his time honing his competitive cooking streak, developing new products, promoting them where he can, and inspiring others to discover their own food passions.

What he makes, promises to deliver a little help on the way to BBQ salvation. It includes a cookbook, seasoning spice blends, and sugary smokey spicey sauces - the necessary base ingredients for old-fashioned low and slow Southern BBQ. In his free time, he is generous with his advice and his commitment to inspire healthy living through good eating, and the art of cooking with fire.


Here is where the House of Q meets the Two Cowboys. We eagerly promote something we enjoy.

The Cowboys likes using Brian's products. It saves us from assembling our own beef pepper seasoning, which mostly contains the same ingredients. Q's all-purpose seasoning works equally well on pork ribs and chicken. We cannot decide if we like the Rocking Red or the Apple Butter Sauce more. We guess it depends on our mood and the amount of beer lubricating our cook. All we know is that our pork has never tasted more "Appelly" and "Zingy" when combining the two.

When it comes down to it, we share a passion for cooking with Brian. We agree about the need to advocate for more people to cook, grill and BBQ at home. You eat better that way. We both buy from local food producers, sourcing in-season ingredients for our cook, and include more fresh vegetables and meat protein in our diets.

Above all, we love sharing our passion with the people we call our friends. There is nothing better than to cook with fire, doing it for, and with the people we love, and findings innovative ways of telling the world about it. That is why we like a little House of Q. It comes from the same place.


P.S. Get your House of Q products in our Two Cowboys Store.

Cooking Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.


Getting the Sauce

Quality Control 
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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The New Old-World of Greenwood City in Boundary Country, British Columbia

Old Stuff

When one visits old-world destinations like Venice, Paris or Amsterdam, you become aware of the stark contrasts between the day-to-day hustle and the much, much longer and older timelines that birthed their character, their people’s cultures and unique personalities. 

In our migratory New World, like Canada or New Zealand, we don’t have a similar appreciation for omnipresent antiquity and the uniquely localized identities of the people. Sometimes, it is even hard to distinguish Calgary from Denver or Regina from Edmonton. If we did, we would discover and appreciate that here too is an “old world” charm, woven into the fabric of what, and who we are. Examples like Montreal and Quebec City come to mind. 

However, further West, we easily forget. Too quickly we lose the charm of our heritage as we hastily pave over it, strip mall, tear down, franchise, and progress it to oblivion. If we look around, we will realize that there are gems to be discovered. Dare I say it, places to be protected and cultures to be preserved and celebrated.



New World Gems

Talk about the City of Greenwood with any modern-day Canadian, and most will shrug with just one comment, “Where is that?”. When you visit Greenwood, something grabs your attention about British Columbia’s smallest city, a one-time candidate for the Provincial Capital, and the previous seat of the Provincial High Court. Everyone in the West knew about Greenwood in 1897.

Walk the streets (yes, not speed through it on Highway 3, at 100km/hour) and you become acutely aware of its rich history, thanks to the ongoing efforts of the few remaining residents. They are desperately trying to preserve the crumbling buildings, hold on to the rich can-do mining character, and tell the boom-and-bust stories of days long gone.

There is a character to Greenwood and a hardy identity to its people. It needs to be rediscovered and celebrated. In Greenwood, the old-world charm of the Canadian West and the pioneering spirit of Canada is particularly strong. Even its time-worn accelerated degradation and central location in the Boundary Country offers an eerie charm or omen to the still remaining places around it. It reminds one of that powerful and always-present inescapable universal flow.

Flow of Time

Humanity is insignificant within its force. Regardless of who we are, where we are, what we had for breakfast, or how we drink our coffee, our world will keep on spinning at a speed of 1,800 km/hour. We will continue to be screeching around the sun at 108,000 km/hour, as our solar system spirals at 750,000 km/hour through this galaxy. Our planets will continue to exist for another 4 billion years, our Universe expanding for another 13.5 billion more.

Within this mind-numbing magnitude, we are part of the flow, and we are because of the flow.

All we can do is hang on to a minuscule significance, oblivious of the speed at which we hurtle through time and pace. For us, the sun came up in the morning and will go under this evening. The seasons will pass. Life will begin, friendships made, and partners lost. Civilizations will rise. Some will fall. Industries will blossom and die, presidents elected, killers executed, trees grow, suns collapse, species disappear, climates change and Black Holes born. Gold will be discovered. Fortunes made, and many will be lost.

We will grow old. Our lives will end. Soon, someone will forget.

We stand alone against the massive freight train of life. In the blistering madness of its momentum, we can only try to find a place - our place, a sense of purpose, some significance. A point to it all. The best we can hope for is conscious glimpses grasping at fleeting, subjective moments of awe, splendour, beauty, love, acceptance, and pleasure in the places and with the people we love.

There is no Heaven, no Valhalla, karma, or fortunate re-dos waiting on the other side.

This is it, a sliver of existence in time, a minuscule place in the Universe. Living is all we get. Holding on is what we have. The big question then is, “What to do with it?”

The answer, “Be”. The world forgets easily but definitely.

Greenwood, BC

Greenwood is all about history, it goes back to 1891 with the discovery of gold, silver and copper in this once thriving mining camp. Incorporated as a city on July 12, 1897, the BC Copper Company smelter was built in 1901 and brought prosperity to the city, becoming known as the “hub” of the Boundary. The surrounding mines brought fortune seekers from many parts of the world, but the boom was short-lived. After the first World War, copper prices plummeted and Greenwood’s success soon diminished. People left in droves and by 1940 the population had dwindled to a few hundred.

The forced internment of Japanese Canadians off the west coast of British Columbia in 1942 changed the course of Greenwood’s history. A ghost town from its former glory days, Greenwood became BC’s first internment camp. 1,200 people were crammed into the many empty buildings, hotels and houses; remnants from days long ago. The little city once again began to thrive.

The city has proven its resiliency over the years and now demonstrates an excellent destination for history buffs. Many adventures await you in this historic little city.


Enjoy the little feature we’ve put together about the museum of Greenwood. Yes, it is a museum, but we know it is also the memories, character and the personality of its people. We have already invested in Greenwood and is soon becoming residents of this charming little gem.

We invite the world to come and visit, stay and build a life with us.

Come to see Greenwood.

Our New Home
Boundary Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.



Supreme Court



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Second Grand Party in the Street in Downtown Grand Forks, British Columbia

Good Grand News

On Saturday 2 May 2018, the news stated: 

“Catastrophic floods in parts of southern British Columbia have forced nearly 2,800 from their homes and warm weather expected in the coming days could worsen the problem. In Grand Forks, B.C., a community about 520 kilometres east of Vancouver, homes are submerged in brown, murky water. 

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said fire rescue technicians have rescued more than 30 people by boat in the town. Two days of heavy rain caused flooding in Grand Forks. It’s the worst the region has seen in 70 years, roughly two feet (0.6 metres) higher than ever recorded.” (CTV News)

On Sunday 21 July the news read: 

“The citizens and business in Downtown Grand Forks are showing tremendous resilience and perseverance as they slowly recover from the flooding of 2018. It is a little over 1 year, and businesses are opening again. New businesses are moving to town. 

Look out for a new Craft Brewery, Ice Cream store and others are planning to locate and build their futures in the town as well. They are all discovering and coming for the small-town charm, better lifestyle, and slower pace of this oasis in British Columbia’s Boundary Country. 

To demonstrate how attractive the community of Grand Forks is for business, the Downtown Business Association hosted its 2nd Annual Party in the Street. They invited people from the Boundary, Kootenay's and Okanagan Area to celebrate the rebuild and rebirth of Downtown Grand Forks, after the floods. It was a grand party! Grand Forks is open for business, again.” (Two Cowboys News)



Party in the Street

The Cowboys were fortunate to get an invite to the Party in the Street. We celebrated with the people of Grand Forks. While there, we wanted to find out what the business outlook is after a hard year of cleanup and rebuilding. Are there people who are positive about the future? Is there an opportunity for existing businesses and new business to rebuild and grow?

What struck us was how welcoming is the Grand Forks community. They want people to move to the area, to establish businesses, and to open stores in the downtown business district. Grand Forks is not just open for business. They are using the events of the past year as an opportunity for the rebirth of the sleepy town. They are hosting events to celebrate and promote the opportunity.
We’ve seen that significant news events attract attention to places that people may otherwise not think about. Canmore in Alberta received global attention with the flooding of 2013. We were there. The publicity built momentum for growth.

As a result of the attention, more people were charmed by the attractiveness of the location and visited. Some even relocated, even though Canmore has one of the most expensive real estate markets in Canada. Some will agree that the town is still benefiting from this momentum almost 5 years after the event. While Alberta is in an economic downturn since 2014, new businesses are being established in Canmore. More and more people are moving to the area for the lifestyle, natural beauty, and proximity to Alberta’s big business and tourism markets.

We predict, similarly, that Grand Forks has an opportunity to mine gold from the unfortunate events of 2018. Through the ongoing publicity of the flood recovery and the positive developments related to the circumstances, they help people discover and appreciate that there are still places in Canada like Grand Forks. Places where small businesses are embraced and encouraged to start or relocate. Where the economics of the area still make it possible for small entrepreneurs to live and work and have a lifestyle location. It offers excellent infrastructure, a great climate, and proximity to larger markets such as the tourists of the Okanagan.

Grand Forks is open for artisan butchers, bakers, growers, makers, retailers, and related services. The Downtown Business Association is keen to see more people open and operate their businesses in Grand Forks. Even the City Council is making it easier to do it. Property is still affordable, and the lifestyle is superb with trails, sunshine, and shorter winters.


We are glad we could meet some of these remarkable people during the Party in the Street. We look forward to bringing you more stories about the businesses and people of the town and of the Boundary Country of British Columbia.

We too succumbed to the charms of the "old frontier" and want to help promote it as the “new frontier” for artisans and lifestyle entrepreneurs. That is why we decided to live here and make the Boundary Country our community and our people.

You should come and see it for yourself!

Boundary Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. Please book us here so we can tell your story too.


Open for Business!

The Road to Grand Forks