Barbecue season across the South is in the dog days of summer and E’s Best Smoky and Killer Finishing Sauces are ready to create some fantastic masterpieces on the grill! It has been quite awhile since our last blog and that is because we have been so busy workin’ the sauce in as many locations as humanly possible. In May we traveled to Charlotte, NC, where we did events at Reids Fine Foods on Selwyn Avenue and Reids in Fort Mill, SC. We also delivered a large supply of gallons and cases to The Butchers Market on Rea Rd, where we did a very successful tasting event. We also shipped a large order to the Cookes Food Store people in Tennessee, who prepackage their chicken, marinated in our sauces. We celebrated our 3 year anniversary at The Chop Shop, Bradenton, on Memorial Day weekend and finished up May at the Ace Hardware in Ellenton. In June, Southern Steer Butcher in Clearwater invited us to help celebrate their 2nd anniversary and Mazzaro Italian Market also had us in house. July has us booked at both Crowder Brothers locations in the Bradenton area, along with other retail locations that carry our sauces. Keep your eyes on the event column here for upcoming tasting demos and we will also be posting them on our Facebook page.
E’s Best Barbecue Sauces are currently in 52 retail locations in 6 southern states and when time allows, we are continuing to seek out new locations for our sauces. We want to give a shout out to Debbie Farah, President and CEO of Bajalia International Group for alerting us to an opportunity to pitch the Tampa/Orlando Winn-Dixie stores as part of the Winn-Local campaign to stock local products in 30-50 stores in the area. Thank you Debbie for loving our sauces and the women in our family LOVE your jewelry. Go to www.bajalia.com and see why!
We applied for the Winn-Dixie opportunity, filled out the information forms, sent samples, and were then notified that we had become a finalist and would be pitching the buyers. This 3 month process culminated in mid July with our live presentation in Tampa. Everything went well and we should find out in late August or early September if we were chosen to be stocked. Only a third of those who entered the competition were chosen to present to the buyers so we are blessed to have had the opportunity.
Many of you have asked what happened to our sauces being stocked in local Tampa Bay Fresh Market locations. Well, nearly 100 local vendor products were cleared from inventory in April of this year. The Fresh Market sent a letter out telling us that they were ending their national direct-to-store local vendor program. It was a great fit while it lasted. In 6-1/2 months in 5 stores, E’s Best sold 56 cases of sauce and established a strong repeat customer base. All local products will have to re-apply through a regional distributor in order to re-qualify for shelf space. We do hope to be back with them on a larger scale some time in the future. Right now, we are focusing on our current 52 retailers and an opportunity to be distributed in as many as 50 Winn-Dixie stores from Tampa to Orlando. Please check out our retailer page on this website for alternative locations to get our sauces.
We have continually added new recipes to the E’s Best website this past year and will be looking for some of your favorites to share here as well. We are also planning a few more trips across the south to spread the word about our sauces and to get more retailers onboard. We have been blessed with the response and growth we have experienced during the last three years since launching our two sauces.
Recently, The Kamado Joe Cooking Channel featured a grilled swordfish recipe using our Smoky Mountain Finishing Sauce. It received a lot of play and we have continued to grow that relationship. We love our own Kamado Joe and the versatility it offers. You can see that video elsewhere on this website and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPzsVbxh7Js&feature=youtu.be.
We’ve been talking about releasing two rubs and have the test batches approved. We are in no hurry and will only introduce them when it is financially profitable to do so. Our focus has always been on making the products we already have as successful as possible. When the time is right, we will know it and will expand our product line. God has blessed us with the sauce first and foremost, then with the relationships with our retailers, and finally with the relationships with the people who buy and love our products. A little over three years down the road, we are continuing to grow and the sauces are growing ever more popular. We are indeed truly blessed and hope that you will taste and see that the Lord is good! Get your sauce on!