Texas BBQ icon passes away, remembered fondly

In Lockhart, the passion for BBQ burns deep and Kreuz Market is one of the hottest places where you can taste that passion in the meat that’s served up.

Wednesday, smoke from the glowing fire pits swirled near a table where former owner Rick Schmidt once kept watch. Throughout the day flowers were placed next to pictures of the Texas barbecue icon as a way to honor his memory. “He said right after, and probably during, my stepmother‘s funeral; when this happens to me nobody be sad, because I’m ready,” said Keith Schmidt.

Keith Schmidt took over for his dad about eight years ago. 

Wednesday while finalizing funeral arrangements, he spoke to FOX 7 about how his fathers legacy is built around one word. Consistency. “He grew up with it, it was his life, I guess you could call it a love affair, he knew how to do it, he just took his knowledge that he acquired in college, then in the food distribution sector, and brought it here to make things more methodical, and like I said consistency."

Kreuz Market was originally located along Lockhart’s town square. The business dates back to 1900. Ricks father bought it in 1948 and in 1999, moved to its current location on the northside of town after a family dispute. A very important part of the business was brought with them according to Keith. 

“We drug the coals and lit these fires with the ones from the old one,” said Schmidt.

The old location is still a barbecue hotspot, one of four major Smokey destinations here in Lockhart.

As a result, BBQ is part of this town’s DNA. Kathy and Robert Ort, who are from the Dallas area, made a Lockhart lunch stop. They were directed here by their phone app and got a big slice of the beef shoulder that the restaurant is known for.

“We have the food app on our phones and we came up to Lockhart and barbecue barbecue barbecue so that’s what we decided to do ... Very good very good,” said Ort.

Keith is proud of the attraction his family and the other barbecue owners have served up. “So, we are all kind of a part of each other here, I’ve always felt, especially in barbecue, it’s no longer about competition we are all in it together,” said Schmidt.

The goal now is to carry on the tradition. “Barbecue changes so much and we hear it maybe every 10 years, oh Lockhart is over or Kreuz is over, and I’ll say yeah those first 119 years were rough we’ll see how the second 119 go,” said Schmidt.

Staying consistent and staying true to a family recipe for success.

The funeral will be held Thursday. It will take place at the Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Maxwell at 11:00. A reception, which is open to the public, will follow at the restaurant after the service.