Local grill master says “BBQ means family”

By Patty Hullett
For the Daily Light

Waxahachie native Jim Ensinia is a family man at heart.

At age 52, this busy businessman seems to have his workdays lined out, but when the weekend rolls around, he is often ready to relax and enjoy what he loves best – spending quality time with his family.

Jim Ensinia chopping up some of his work from the grill.

Bar-B-Q is in his blood

Ensinia says, “I can’t help it. Barbecue is in my blood. It is a treasured family tradition, and our roots run deep. I have been cooking barbecue for over 32 years, and I’ve learned my skills from my dad, Jesse Ensinia, and my uncle, Frank Hernandez.”

He says he's always looking for any excuse to fire up the smoker, grill, or griddle. “I just really love cooking for others," Ensinia adds. "To me, barbecue means family. That is where my tagline was born, (in Spanish) ‘Porque Barbacoa Significa Familia’ – OR (in English) ‘Because Barbecue Means Family’. In fact, this saying defines my new product that is breaking into the marketplace as this news story is being published.”

While Ensinia was growing up, his close-knit family was grilling every weekend either at

their house or his Uncle Frank’s place. "It was what we liked to do. Family and togetherness is what it signifies to me – then and now,” he says.

The grill chef’s most-favored specialties are brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, turkey, and almost anything you can imagine. He claims that there isn’t too much he hasn't already tried, but if he hasn’t attempted something new, he admits that he is always willing to do the research on how to make it and how best to prepare it.

His family gatherings that truly enjoy his barbecue creations usually number anywhere from 8 to 25 people, and sometimes even more.

New products being introduced – BBQ rubs

Ensinia first had the idea more than 10 years ago, to create, brand, market, and sell some of his very own barbecue rubs, but he felt the timing was just not right. He says, “About two years ago, God stirred this feeling again, and I basically got the message (from God) that now was the appropriate time in my life.”

He said God began to open doors for him and that motivated him to get to work laying out the groundwork to actually make his dream happen. Ensinia says, “This new business venture is absolutely all God. He made this happen for me. I knew that when I got the sign that I had to be obedient and follow His lead. I have been cooking for so long, and over those years I have adjusted, tweaked, and modified the recipes as I went along, until I got them where I wanted them. I am initially launching three different blends, but I have recipes for more down the line. I just want to take it slowly and see how my products are received. It is my hope that before too long, I can release a few more blends.”

Primarily, Ensinia’s rubs will be sold on Facebook and by word-of-mouth, and his hopes are to get a booth at the Farmers Market in Waxahachie in the near future. He is currently in talks with a few local businesses in his hometown and with contacts in Midlothian, too. He hopes to be able to make an official announcement soon about a referral partnership with some local beef producers and a few other surprises.

Those who are interested in his products should follow his story on Facebook and can also find it on his website, www.losprimanos.com

Ensinia introduces 'Los Primanos BBQ Rubs'

The brand name of the new rub products will be “Los Primanos BBQ Rubs.” Each

separate blend will be named more specifically with a subtitle. Ensinia’s first three products will be called as follows:

Pork featuring Los Primanos brand rub.

* Hog Wild Honey – great on pork, but also pairs great with poultry and seafood

* Crazy Cluckin’ Chicken – a blend for chicken and other poultry, but also works well with beef, too

* No Bull Beef – pairs well with burgers and steaks

Explaining the meaning of “Los Primanos,” Ensinia says, “This name has a special meaning that is dear to my heart. I grew up with two very close cousins – Mike Benavides and Tita (Patricia) Hernandez. We are only about eight months apart in age, so we enjoyed a very close bond. ... A few years ago, Tita said, ‘Hey, we are much more like brothers and sister than we are cousins, so we are really ‘Primanos’!” So, she had combined the two words and made it up – ‘primo’ and ‘hermano/ a’. We had no idea that her labeling us three cousins together would end up being a marketing ploy for my new BBQ products.”

Life-long career in sales

Not only has Ensinia always been some sort of salesman his entire life, but he sports two separate full-time careers at the same time. And selling his new rubs is actually a side-gig for him.

For the past 14 years he has been a successful Realtor. He has been married to his wife Tina for four years, and in April of 2018, she and Jim joined forces and formed “Team Ensinia”, based out of Keller Williams – Waxahachie.

Ensinia says, “We truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt (in sales), if you will, when we are helping someone find just the right home. We love the joy it brings our clients when we are able to assist them in obtaining the 'American Dream' of home ownership. We enjoy serving others. And having my wife by my side in the real estate business is a wonderful blessing. She is actually the lead for our real estate  team. She has a very special way she relates to others, and people usually gravitate to her. It’s simply amazing to watch her in action.”

“In late summer of 2019”, Ensinia explains, “my wife and I decided that we wanted to offer a more well-rounded experience for our clients, so we decided that I would get my insurance license. Now, I work for Goosehead Insurance, in addition to being a real estate agent. This company is a broker that gives me between 32 and 40 A-rated insurance carriers to shop from. They are a technology leader in the industry. This allows us to work for the customer and not the insurance company."

Two favorites – his family and his past times

A 1987 graduate of Waxahachie High School, Ensinia tried some college, but realized that it just wasn’t for him. Sales has been his main vocation in life.

He married his second wife four years ago, and together they have eight children: Shelby – 28, married to Tommy; Hannah – 24, married to Ryan; Josh – 22; Abby – 20; Morgan – 20; David – 18; Lauren – 18; and James – 12.

Ensinia says, “Barbecue is my passion, of course”, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the game of baseball a long time, too. In fact, I have coached all of my kids in the sports they played: T-ball, baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball. I coached them in some capacity for over 14 years. This is time that I look back on fondly, and I would do it all over again. The memories we created during those times are priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

Jim Ensinia, left, and one of his sons at a graduation BBQ party.

The Ensinia family are part of The Avenue Church in Waxahachie, and he and his wife Tina are active members of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, as well. They also enjoy producing videos around town and within Ellis County at no charge to help promote locally-owned businesses, non-profits and special events. Going on their third year, he says they've shot close to 400 videos; more can be found on those free services at www.elliscountyvideos.com . 

Jim Ensinia

Ensinia hopes good luck will 'rub off', lead to growth 

At the present time, Ensinia is just marketing his first three original rubs for sale. In the future, he is wanting to perhaps sell caps and shirts with his barbecue logo on the merchandise items. He also hopes to add a few more seasoning blends over some time, and eventually, he dreams of putting out his own barbecue sauce as well.