DONALD W. CALLENDER

(An American Original)

Restaurant pioneer, innovator and founder, Donald W. Callender (Sept. 27, 1927 Jan.7, 2009) was the heart and soul of Babe's
Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse. Many think of Don as the man who
made Marie Callender's a household name (Named after his mother), but after he sold it, Don never slowed down as an innovator in the restaurant industry. There is not a restaurant
in the United Slates that is not somehow implementing or influenced by one of his many ideas.

Don had been working on a BBQ and brewery concept for many years before Babe's ever opened its doors. His passion for bar-b-que and comfort food was pure and simple. He believed that if you make great food consistently, day in and day out, people will pull up chairs and enjoy it with you. You could find him in the kitchen every day overseeing the quality of the Ribs, Chicken, Tamales and Pies. There was never a time that he was not obsessed with the food standards at Babe's. If he had questions or concerns he would go straight to the source, talking to food manufacturers, meal suppliers and produce growers. If any product did not meet his quality standards, it was not served. It was that simple.

To many, like myself, Don will be remembered as a man who was tough as iron and was always in charge. Now in my 21st year on Don's team, his dedication to quality and consistency has been instilled in me for life, and I'm glad. His work ethic left such a mark on me that everything I do in the kitchen is still to his standards. When I catch myself saying things, and then thinking, "That's something Don would have said," it always makes me laugh.

I miss the days when he would come in the kitchen and say, "Well, everything looks good here, see ya' tomorrow BUB!" Don's spirit is alive here at Babe's and we all miss him. We still talk about him often and wish he could share in some of the restaurant's recent accolades. As Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewery is Don's last restaurant endeavor that he actually operated, we will continue to keep his legacy alive. We dedicate this page to our mentor although he would never approve of a website. That just wasn't his style.

Arthur L.Vasquez Chef, Brewer, Manager and Better Person (because of you!)
Read more about Don Callendar in a Palm Springs Life article.
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