When people mention the Carolinas, they often talk about our warm hospitality, the sweet tea and the barbecue. I believe Jena’s BBQ & Baked Beans Sauce can help showcase our wonderful reputation when it comes to our barbeque.
Jena’s is a sweet, tomato-based barbeque sauce that I created in my North Carolina kitchen back in 2002. Cooking is a passion of mine; most weekends you can find me in my kitchen preparing meals for my family. Grilling is my favorite; and nothing enhances grilled foods better than a great-tasting barbeque sauce. But I could never find a barbecue sauce that I could enjoy out of the bottle. No matter the brand, I found myself always having to purchase additional ingredients to get that perfect taste. When I shared my doctored sauce with family and friends, I found it was an instant hit. Many of them would inquire where they could purchase it. Once they found out it was my own personal creation, they encouraged me to seriously consider creating my own gourmet sauce.
After some thought, a trip to the local grocery store and a look in my spice cabinet, Jena’s BBQ sauce was born. Seeking serious critique, I gave it out to family, friends, work colleagues, and anyone I knew of who ate barbeque sauce. The only critique I got was to make a spicy version of what I created. A little research into different peppers and I was able to create Jena’s “Sweet Heat” BBQ Sauce. I discovered people were not only enjoying it on the tradition grill meats (beef, chicken and pork) but also on unconventional foods, such as fish and pizza; one friend even told me her children ate it on cake!
With this information, I began to look at other ways to expand my sauce. I tried it as a sauce for baked beans and discovered it also worked well. This lead me to change the name from Jena’s BBQ Sauce to Jena’s BBQ & Baked Bean Sauce.
Since the creation of Jena’s BBQ & Baked Bean Sauce, I have become a member of “Goodness Grows in North Carolina”, a group through the North Carolina Agricultural Department which promotes North Carolina food businesses and monitors the trends in the food industry globally. I have also been able to locate a local co-packer which allows me the ability to manage, mass produce and ship my barbecue sauce in a efficient manner. I believe that “Jena’s BBQ & Baked Bean Sauce represents the great tradition of barbecue with a gourmet taste.”
Most people in life are passionate about something, few are given the opportunities to share it with others. I want to thank you for allowing me to share my passion with you and I hope you will consider letting me share my passion with the nation.
Maurice L. Griffin