In 1985 Chef Larry, a local Chicago guy, perfected his family’s recipe for a sweet, tangy BBQ sauce. Chef Larry entered his sauce into the country’s largest rib competition, the Mike Royko Rib-off, and beat nearly 700 entrants – an amazing feat for an unknown. The rest, as they say, is delicious history.
When brother David and friend Mike caught wind of Sweet Baby Ray’s success, along with Larry, they decided to take the sauce on the road. What would the rest of America think?
They knocked on doors, sold to small mom-and-pop shops, and even grilled out on sidewalks. Thanks to those efforts, word of Sweet Baby Ray’s savory taste spread like wildfire. By 1994, Sweet Baby Ray’s distinctive bottle could be found at grill pits and dinner tables across the Midwest, and by the end of the century, sales in the ensuing years topped 500,000 cases annually.
Sweet Baby Ray’s has become the fastest growing BBQ sauce in America and the #1 BBQ sauce in grocery stores.