Bone Suckin' Sauce
Bone Suckin' Sauce is more than just a condiment; it's a testament to the deep roots and culinary passion of the Ford family. The story begins with Phil Ford, a real estate appraiser and father of four in Raleigh, North Carolina, who, around 1987, embarked on the task of recreating his mother's recipe for a western North Carolina-style barbecue sauce. His journey resulted in a fat-free, aromatic blend that included ingredients like tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, honey, molasses, mustard, horseradish, and more.
Initially, Phil shared his sauce by giving it away, never imagining that people would pay for it. However, his sister-in-law, Sandi Ford, the owner of Ford's Fancy Fruits & Gourmet Foods in Raleigh, saw the potential. In September 1992, Sandi and her husband, Lynn, became Phil's partners, naming the sauce "Bone Suckin' Sauce" during a car ride to Charleston. This marked the official launch in November 1992.
The Ford family's involvement in the food business dates back to 1946 when they ran the first produce house at the old city market in Raleigh. In 1986, Lynn and Sandi expanded the family business by creating Ford's Fancy Fruits & Gourmet Foods. In 1992, they joined forces with Phil to introduce his barbecue sauce to the market. They collaborated with a North Carolina Co-Packer, streamlining the production process and allowing the family to concentrate on marketing and distribution.
The turning point for Bone Suckin' Sauce came in 1994 when it won "the NC Battle of the Sauces," propelling it to the forefront of gourmet sauces. The sauce's popularity grew, leading the family to consider exporting in the summer of 1994. With a creative ad campaign from Elberson, Singer and Shuler, the family debuted Bone Suckin' Sauce at the NASFT International Fancy Food Show in New York City. Media coverage, including a mention in The New York Times, and international interest followed, and today Bone Suckin' Sauce exports to 80 countries, representing a harmonious blend of family tradition and culinary excellence. The future holds plans for developing an organics line and expanding the range of gourmet foods offered by Ford's Gourmet Foods.