Barbecue sauce boss reveals secret of success

A tiny barbecue sauce maker in Texas is celebrating after becoming known for producing one of America’s top ten best-selling sauces.

Staff at Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q produce rubs and marinades in addition to the barbecue sauces which helped it grow to a household name today. Its products can be found on the shelves of some of the country’s biggest grocery stores and supermarkets.

Last year the company, which was started by C B Stubblefield just over 30 years ago and has its headquarters in Austin, announced sales of around $20 million.

Its CEO Matthew Gase said that despite their smaller size, they were competing well with multinational companies in their market.

“When you look at market share in the barbecue space, we’re the number six national brand of the top 10, and we’re surrounded by the big guys,” he declared proudly.

He attributed this in part to the fact that company employees were to be found continually experimenting with new flavours and textures for sauces and rubs.

“We stretch taste buds. We don’t dumb down our product,” he said.

But he also credited a new emphasis the company had on marketing as well as social media and face-to-face networking throughout not just Texas, but America as a whole. In addition, plans are also underway to move into the Canadian barbecue market before the end of the year.

“We don’t promote Stubb’s sauces and marinades. What I think resonates with our consumers is the fact that we promote great-tasting Texas barbecue,” Gase said.

“In my life, I’ve worked for these big food companies, and let me tell you, there’s no passion around ketchup. But there is passion in the world of barbecue. It defines some people, how they make certain things. And we love that; we respect that; we celebrate that.”

Stubb’s grandsons, brothers Rocky and Reggie Stubblefield, now work at the company which their grandfather founded and can be found demonstrating barbecue sauces and ribs as part of the firm’s ongoing publicity campaign.

“We can be a lot more nimble and agile than the big companies that have huge portfolios and they just dabble in the world of barbecue,” Gase said. “It’s part of our DNA. It’s what we do. That’s our advantage.”

Meanwhile, if reading this article has put you in the mood to try out a barbecue sauce, then we have a recipe for you right here:


Classic BBQ sauce for spare ribs

This recipe will make around two and a half cups of sauce which can be frozen or kept in the fridge.

Give yourself ten minutes prep time and twenty minutes to cook everything together.


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato Puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

In a blender, mix together well the onion and water. Add olive oil to a sauce pan and add the blended onion and water. Simmer for a few minutes then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for another two minutes then season to taste and serve.

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