About Us


Berkley’s Backyard BBQ is truly a family business. Inspired by his father to propel the family tradition, Berkley started Berkley’s Backyard BBQ in 2003 under his father’s guidance and the help of a few trusted friends.

A throwback from the days when customer service was truly king, Berkley aims to perpetuate the Southern hospitality that influences every facets of his business today. An event catered by Berkley’s Backyard BBQ is sure to bring about smiles and the satisfaction that only great food can offer.

Our recipes date back to the 1940’s when Berkley’s great grandmother introduced her gourmet sauce: Hoagies Gourmet BBQ Sauce, “The champagne of BBQ sauces.” This sauce and many other recipes were passed on to Berkley’s father, a professional chef, who became the “keeper of the secrets.” Berkley has followed in his father’s footsteps, to re-create the style of cooking that he is now making famous.

Berkley was born on April 26th, 1967 in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Raymond “Hoagie” Hoagland and Mary Sadie Hoagland. From an early age, it became clear that two passions would consume his life; Food and….Hockey. Berkley’s father became a chef for Wesleyan University in Connecticut and as Berkley got old enough, like many sons, he would follow his dad to work and soon became a regular around school. Then, as of now, he quickly became a fixture on campus, a big-cheeked, full of life kid, only too happy to hang around. He was brought to the University’s ice rink where he became infatuated with hockey. In those days, you could just drop a kid by the rink and knew that he would be well looked after, a rink rat was born!

As he began to play hockey, it quickly became the main influence in his life. As a member of several squads, he benefited from the guidance of several coaches, among those, his mentor, Russ Quick. Playing throughout New England, he was ultimately accepted to prestigious Cushing Academy, a preparatory school in Ashburnham, Mass. with a strong hockey tradition. Berkley blossomed there, where he not only became a hockey standout, but also became Class President for both his Junior and Senior years.

Upon graduation from Cushing, Berkley attended Elmire College in upstate New York, where an injury cut short his freshman year hockey tryout. Making the decision to get closer to his family, he moved back to New England, where he was accepted at Northeastern University in Boston.

After playing professionally in several leagues, and serving as a coach for several teams, Berkley finally made his home in Southern California, where his enthusiasm for hockey soon was rivaled by his love for cooking. Upholding the family tradition and following in his father’s footsteps, he started Berkley’s Backyard BBQ in 2003.

Berkley views his company as an extension of his family and lifestyle, where everyone is invited and friendship and hospitality is the norm.

Berkley’s Backyard BBQ is poised for a big expansion in 2008, and, as always, Berkley Hoagland will be in the middle of it!

View a list of clients we have catered for!