May 19, 2024


It's A Shop Adventure

This Veteran-Owned Sauce Brand Proves to Retailers That “It’s Gon Be Good”

This Veteran-Owned Sauce Brand Proves to Retailers That "It's Gon Be Good"

John Walden, Founder and Main Quality Assurance/Quality Control Officer of J.W. Southern Sauce grew up in dining places. His mom and dad and family members worked extensive careers in the company and restaurant business, where by he realized a great deal about what makes a fantastic food. The solution? Sauce. Whilst his really like for foods and delicious sauces sparked at a younger age, manufacturing and creating his own masterful sauces was a new endeavor. From 2005 to 2011, Walden served in the United States Military, exactly where he finished two battle excursions in Iraq. Though serving in the Military, he commenced acquiring J.W. Southern Sauce, born via his collective experiences throughout several international locations and quite a few several years of trying to make military services foods much more flavorful. Many several years and loads of challenging function later, the one-of-a-kind LGBTQ-, veteran-, and now Black-owned and operated model introduced on March 18, 2021. 

J.W. Southern Sauce

We mustard from the beginning 

Just before launching J.W. Southern Sauce, Walden received formal schooling about the sauce production industry by attending an array of food items-safe and sound applications and the University of Georgia’s Office of Science and Technology’s Far better Process Handle Faculty. From there, he wanted a information guiding his brand name, one thing that represented all his difficult operate and would resonate with some others. Identical to the Army’s acronym for corps values, Walden made the decision on the acronym F.O.O.D. (which stands for Basis, Optimistic, Possibility, Acquiring) to represent his regular commitment powering mastering the artwork of sauce generating. When some folks approach the meals business enterprise as possibly a necessity or a way to make a dwelling, Walden approaches this business enterprise as an artwork type. “It can take time and tolerance to come across the fantastic spices and substances that will mix into that magical style that everybody would want and really like,” he suggests.  “Being prosperous is just a piece of the puzzle keeping each and every sauce reliable bottle after bottle is the artwork of the problem that I acquire satisfaction in.” Since we take in with our eyes, Walden sights sauces like a painter views his or her painting, constantly looking to create an artsy and perfected product. 

Founder, John Walden, Serving in the United States Army

In August 2021, soon after perfecting his recipes and brand name messaging, Walden’s partner encouraged him to go out and provide his sauces to the world. Walden realized he would need to have somebody who was self-motivated and understood how to run with no a blueprint. Anyone who could turn Walden’s art into a home identify. His husband or wife introduced him to his cousin Kindrell “Brent” Hutchinson, who was appointed as the Chief Govt Officer of J.W. Southern Sauce. Hutchinson, a native of Gainesville, Florida, observed good results as a genuine estate investor who experienced by no means thought about working in the food stuff industry. Even so, following sampling Walden’s sauces, any skepticism was overpowered by his flavor buds.  “I hardly ever meant on investing, until finally I tasted it. I was all set to say NO! But oh man, it’s the greatest sauce I have at any time tasted! I’m a foodie and I swiftly recognized there is almost nothing like this on the marketplace,” states Hutchinson.

With consumer suggestions turning out to be a large good results, Hutchinson realized the desire was there. “People want the perfect sauce, John is a master craftsman he doesn’t mess all around with his culinary arts and all he needed was the company product and the world would thank him afterwards,” says Hutchinson. A full line of bold and tangy sauces was introduced shortly just after, such as J.W. Honey Mustard, Primary, Savoy, Ranch, and Tartar Sauce!

The magic formula sauce to success

J.W. Southern Sauce
John Walden, Founder and Chief Excellent Assurance/Good quality Management Officer

J.W. Southern Sauce’s retail journey begun with cold phone calls to nearby eating places. ​“We designed chilly calls to some significant places to eat and marketed our sauces to them it was a important good results. They tasted it and quickly started off contemplating of which foods they could use our sauces with,” says Walden. When consumers started inquiring issues about the sauce makers, they knew they experienced some thing great. Shortly the pair started out promoting to neighborhood grocers. “Because we are a smaller small business and minority-owned, we would operate into some nearby suppliers making an attempt to bring in our merchandise with small-income margins but switch about and provide with significantly bigger profit margins for their shops,” Hutchinson describes. Nevertheless, this did not discourage their hunger to improve. Following performing some on the internet investigation on how to increase their retail existence and get in get in touch with with retail customers, they arrived across the exact same name in excess of and more than, RangeMe.

Soon after signing up for RangeMe, Walden and Hutchinson wasted no time making use of to Retailer Submission opportunities, together with Southeastern Grocer’s Nearby Vendor Expo. Just a week after submitting, they got an e mail indicating that they have been selected.  “I have to give credit history to RangeMe for connecting us with important stores. I mean if we did not, it is pretty much unachievable to achieve any important retail consumers,” states Hutchinson. “We wouldn’t have been ready to do it without RangeMe’s system.” As of right now, J.W. Southern Sauce is now slated to be bought on additional than 420 Southeastern Grocers retail store cabinets across the United States this sort of as Winn-Dixie, Harvey’s, and Frescos Supermarkets. “Word got to the consumer about our products and solutions before we pitched it! That speaks to how awesome the sauce is,” Hutchinson points out.

As a minority-owned and -operated enterprise, it can be hard to stay clear of biases in the industry. Still the duo uncovered solace and acceptance via RangeMe. “What served us was that Southeastern Grocers and RangeMe are inclusive of local suppliers and modest enterprises, primarily people with minority possession,” states Hutchinson. “You fellas have provided us the similar possibilities as big suppliers and make it possible for us to compete at the very same stage to supply the finest sauce in the world,” claims Walden.

Up up coming for J.W. Southern Sauce

It does not end there! J.W. Southern Sauce is now onboarding with Southeastern Grocers and programs to be place on retail store cabinets later this spring 2023. They are also currently in communication with a further key retailer. As their retail presence continues to increase, their primary objective is to make it possible for each significant retailer the option to sell their products.

Even though anything is taking place so rapid, their crew emphasizes the importance of acquiring religion in yourself and getting a products the entire world wishes. The J.W. sauces are an art sort to Walden, and manufacturer building obviously is a passion for Hutchinson. Their information to fellow entrepreneurs is to “Be well prepared for when you go into significant retail stores, they are not generating smaller purchase orders by any usually means. They want to know how substantially you can tackle.” The next piece of information is what Hutchinson normally tells the staff: “We have to be well prepared to listen to 99 ‘Nos’ in order to listen to a single ‘Yes’.” Last of all, “You really should have a strong, reliable mission driving the corporation and be ready to provide your merchandise to persons at a large stage and best top quality. Anything at all underneath that will align you with your competition.”

We have been attending many grocer conferences currently and everyone asks us how we did it. Heck even suppliers that have been attempting to crack into retail for pretty much 20 decades. I constantly say that RangeMe is like the Linkedin of the CPG business. You have to make your presence recognized and need to be noticed. I needed to give a shout out to Ray Harsono, our Provider Results Manager who was a key assistance. He aided us develop our presence and walked us by way of each step.

Kindrell Hutchinson, CEO, J.W. Southern Sauces