South Mountain resident Ben Macpherson is enjoying the results of his barbecue sauce adventure thanks to the pandemic isolation and a life long passion for cooking. Courtesy Photo
SOUTH MOUNTAIN – Barbecue sauce holds a special place in the hearts and taste buds of humans going back thousands of years.
Chili peppers were the main ingredient for sauces considered hot and were in use to spice up food more than 6,000 years ago in Mexico, Central America and South America.
Currently, a barbecue sauce recipe has originated in South Mountain, as resident Ben Macpherson turns his pandemic isolation into an opportunity to create a tasty barbecue sauce product. He currently has four flavours on the go; they are honey hot, Root beer, honey garlic and maple chipotle, all made with local ingredients and put together in Winchester at the Cup of Jo’s restaurant. The maple syrup, garlic, honey and peppers used in the sauces are local produce.
The Cup of Jo’s kitchen became available on the weekends and it was the best place for putting together his sauces. The kitchen adheres to commercial industry standards and that was what Macpherson needed to work in.
Macpherson has a great sense of humour so calling his line of sauces Truly Some Quality BS made perfect sense to him.
His line of sauces is gradually getting the attention of dedicated barbecue sauce connaisseurs all over Canada. To date, he has sold more than 1,000 units of the sauce.
“I was at home during the first round of Covid closures taking care of my two boys while my wife Meghan was working from home,” said Macpherson. “It gave me an opportunity to try to reconnect with one of my lifelong passions, which is cooking. I used to be in the restaurant industry for several years,” he said.
He began by experimenting with different barbecue sauces.
“I decided there might just be an opportunity to try it out and see if there was any interest out there. It was a very low-cost investment in terms of start-up and everything else, so I decided to invest the time to see if there was something there.”
The results of Macphersons tinkering with barbecue sauces surprised even him.
He has always had a passion for cooking, and he would, in pre-pandemic days, bring some of his barbecue sauce creations to barbecues to see what his friends thought of them.
“I got a lot of good feedback,” he said.
While the pandemic has encouraged people to stay at home it has not affected their appetite.
Macpherson believes that may be one of the reasons, apart from a great taste, that his BS sauces have done so well.
“People are staying at home and barbecuing more,” he said. “I know that if I am grilling a nice piece of chicken or some pork on the grill or some ribs and if you are finishing it off with some nice flavourful sauce, it makes all the difference.”
Once he had perfected his four barbecue sauce recipes he had friends try them out. Everyone agreed that he had created something he should share with the rest of the world.
Having mastered the cooking side of his sauces, Macpherson had to learn all about marketing, and distribution.
Creating new flavours is in his future but will have to wait for the moment.
“Right now, it has taken off beyond what I ever could have expected, so right now I am just trying to refine my process to be able to keep the four flavours that I have so far.”
He said he is working on some new flavours but they will be limited edition flavours.
Currently he sells his sauces by word of mouth and on instagram. He took some to Home Hardware in Morrisburg in December and plans to have it available at the Winchester Foodland in the near future.
“Cup of Jo’s in Winchester has been a great help in getting my project off the ground,” he said. “She (Joanne Houle, the owner of Cup of Jo’s) has been fantastic, she has been a huge supporter for not only providing me space but also advertising it and she sells the sauce as well. So, if you buy one of her take home meals and you wanted a bottle of sauce, you can buy it through her, and she will put it in the box with your meal.”
All the bottles, label -like his ingredients are locally sourced. The artwork for his labels was done by graphic artist Samantha Baynham from Chesterville, and his jars come from the Morrisburg Home Hardware store.
You can connect with one or all of these lovingly crafted barbecue sauces at bensbs.myportfolio.com or you can look him up on Instagram.