The Bosses With The Sauces

Entrepreneural Couple Takes BBQ From Food Truck To Family Tradition

The honeymoon suite is perhaps the last place one would expect to attend a business meeting, but that was precisely where the idea for Matchsticks BBQ was conceived. For Matt and Nicole Sileno, two entrepreneurial spirits with corporate jobs in northern Virginia, working sixty hours per week for twenty years, in hopes of retiring, was not an option. The duo settled on becoming barbeque restaurateurs and drafted a business plan for a brick and mortar operation to begin serving foodies their proprietary perfection. To make the dream a reality cost way more than anticipated. The young entrepreneurs pivoted from the original vision for a fixed location and found a food truck as a cost-effective mobile means to launch the venture. Then came the smoker, followed by countless bad or inedible briskets. “The trial-and-error was exhausting!” Matt recalled. However, with time, the process became formulaic and successful. Their cornerstone sauce is modeled after a childhood inspiration of Matt’s. Wilbur’s BBQ, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, served a spicy vinegar sauce that Sileno hoped to share with the next generation of food fanatics in Virginia. Once the pair found the sweet spot on the recipe the food side of the business began falling into place. The Matchsticks truck was seen from Richmond to Hampton for various events and catering jobs as their popularity grew throughout 2017 and 2018. Over the years the Matchsticks team gained experience and creativity while keeping the basics simple: three sauces and three rubs. Hundreds of combinations were sampled before settling on the classic beef, pork, and poultry dry rubs. In 2019 Matchsticks was ready for expansion to a flagship location in Williamsburg. The truck remains an asset for the popular mobile catering division of their soon-to-be brick and mortar location in Midtown Row.  

The three signature sauces are:

State Sauce: vinegar base with heat

Pit Sauce: sweet and tangy with a tomato base

Match Sauce: a sweet and spicy flavor bomb

The menu appeals to the most critical carnivores and vegans equally. The veggie bean burger and jackfruit BBQ sandwich, alongside vegan lemon slaw, received stellar reviews. The sauces and rubs are packaged for retail, online sales, and local distribution. The Matchsticks truck will be at upcoming events throughout the region, and Matt and Nicole cannot wait to host patrons in their permanent location soon! 

Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

• 1 - tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 - yellow onion thinly sliced

• 2 - cloves of garlic chopped

• ¼ - teaspoon of kosher salt

• 1 - 20 oz. can of Jackfruit (in brine) drained

• 1/2 - cup water

• 1/2 - cup of Matchsticks Pit Sauce

• 2 - Buns

• 1/2 - cup of Lemon Slaw


Drizzle one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil onto a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onions and salt, sauté until almost caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Press drained jackfruit with paper towels to remove some moisture. Pull jackfruit apart and remove any hard pieces. Add jackfruit to pan and sauté until jackfruit starts to brown. Add water and Matchsticks Pit sauce and turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Pile jackfruit on your favorite buns or sliders and top it with our Matchsticks Lemon Slaw and enjoy!

Check out all the latest at and drop them a line at Follow them on Instagram @matchsticksbbqco and Facebook: Matchsticks BBQ Co.

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