Sauce makers up for challenge
By Rita Howell
A Panola-based startup company will participate in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week celebrating business and innovation next week.
Bootsie’s Delta Funk BBQ, based in Pope, last September began producing its 100-year-old family heirloom barbecue sauces and spices recipes.
A month later in Oxford the company competed and won a coveted spot as one of three Mississippi based startups to head to the Entrepreneur Week competition March 20-25.
The company is made up of family and friends and currently sells its products online and in ten stores from Marion, Arkansas, to Greenwood. Bootsie’s products are sold at the BTC Old Fashioned Grocery in Water Valley, the closest location to Panola County.
The company is operated out of the home of company co-founder Adrian Boyd and his wife, Latha, in Pope. The sauces are produced in an FDA-approved commercial kitchen rented by the company in West Memphis.
Boyd’s family first began making barbecue sauce in Tunica 100 years ago.
“In addition to using all-natural ingredients, another thing that makes us unique from every other sauce on the market is that my wife and I have taken these heirloom recipes and infused them with spices from her Indian culture,” Boyd explained in a press release this week.
The upcoming competition “is a chance to let companies across the country know of our solution for clean ingredients and handcrafted Mississippi barbecue sauce and spices,” said co-founder Pete Grumbles.
The third co-founder, Anish Elam, takes credit for the innovative designs and labels of the product as well as the online marketing.
“We’re a company with a rhythm and pulse – it’s about introducing bold new flavors, putting a funky twist on classics and aligning ourselves with good vibes, music and captivating flavors that transcend from the inside to the outside of every bottle we create,” Elam added.
The three partners’ goal for the competition is to not only learn more about running a company and being entrepreneurs, but also to land an investor or partner to help the company grow.
“We want to create more jobs in Mississippi,”Grumbles said.
“Driving across the state to deliver barbecue sauces and spices, you can’t help but see plenty of vacant buildings that would make for a great production facility.”