May of this year marks 2 years we have been bottling E’s Best Smoky Mountain Finishing Sauces. Time DOES fly by. As we remember coming home this afternoon 2 years ago from our bottler, Endorphin Farms in St. Augustine, we knew our first stop had to be Palmetto Meat Shop. While most of the original 100 cases were being shipped, we packed about 10 cases into our Trailblazer as we left for home, ready to ask local retailers to carry our sauces. Roger Talbot had told us that if we ever did bottle our sauces that he would put them on his Palmetto Meat Shop shelves. He did, and our sauces have been available there ever since, and now we are blessed to be in 51 other retail locations in 5 states!
God has been the author of this journey and we cannot begin to express how our faith has grown through these last two years. Our perspective has changed as we have seen Him work, not in only our lives but in the lives of people He has reached through our sauce. Whether it be a new retailer we have met, someone who has sampled our sauces, friends who have referred us to retailers, our suppliers, or our social media posts, Jan and I can look back and see the tapestry of God’s hand in so many things.
Just last Saturday, we were at Southern Steer Butcher in Clearwater, FL. Greg Snyder will be celebrating his first year in business there in June and we plan to be there to celebrate with him. While we were there, a young lady came in, only interested in buying a sandwich at the deli counter. We asked her to sample our sauces and she did. She liked the sauce and asked where we were from. We told her Palmetto, FL and she said that she was getting ready to move to Palmetto. Jan then invited her to come attend our church, First Baptist of Palmetto. The young lady was elated, as she said she was looking for a Baptist church to join when she moved! Divine appointments have been the rule rather than the exception in our weekly tasting adventures and we have really had to adjust our prayer life to be ready for the unique ways God may use these opportunities to sell not only our sauce but to recognize the doors He opens so we can introduce Him to those we meet.
I don’t think that when we started this, we ever envisioned spending half a day every Saturday visiting retail locations and introducing our sauces to customers, but after our very first tasting at The Chop Shop in Bradenton on Memorial Day Saturday 2012, we realized the power of personal appearances and telling our story to others. Two years later, it never gets old. We enjoy sharing what God has done and IS doing in our lives. We enjoy seeing the overwhelming positive reactions to our products, and we truly enjoy the relationships we have developed with so many people, through the barbecue sauce. We will be back at The Chop Shop for our 2nd annual anniversary tasting event on Memorial Day Saturday, May 24.
There have been some incredible things taking place with E’s Best in the last couple of months. Some of these cannot be announced until things are locked in, but we can tell you that new products and new retail opportunities are right around the corner. We need your prayers for the right decisions, the right finances, the right timing, and the right processes as we move forward. We have seen God do things far beyond anything we could ever imagine and His timing is perfect. We rest in that and take every growth step as He provides the timing and the means to do so. He is at work even now and hopefully we can share some very good news very soon.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers of support. Thank you to every retailer, every single customer, every person who referred store locations to us, and every supplier for allowing us to continue to build the original dream to bottle our sauces into a reality that is far greater than we ever expected!
E & Jan