Ben’s BS can be found in local butcher shops, grocery stores, produce markets, and businesses. Courtesy Photo
Barbecues are best with Ben’s BS, locally made and sold
MOUNTAIN – It’s been roughly two years since Ben Macpherson took the leap into entrepreneurship, and today you can find his popular flavour-filled barbecue sauce, Ben’s BS, in several locations throughout the region.
Macpherson made the decision to start his business in 2020. With low-start-up costs, and lots of assistance from local businesses, Macpherson said it was a relatively low-risk venture, one he’d thought about pursuing for quite some time.
“Everybody was home. The sale of smokers and barbecues was going through the roof because everybody couldn’t go out,” Macpherson said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. “There was also a lot of local support. Everybody saw their local businesses struggling, so it kind of worked out well with everyone supporting local.”
With roughly 35 commercial outlets for his product – and still climbing – Dundas County residents can find Ben’s BS at Winchester Foodland, Smyth’s Apple Orchard, Rijke’s Produce Farm, Morrisburg Home Hardware, Greg’s Quality Meats, Loughlin’s Country Store, Loucks Pastures, K2D2 Landscaping, Mountain Orchards, and more.
“We can never be too thankful for local support. Winchester Foodland sells a ridiculous amount of my sauce in a year,” Macpherson said, noting that the local grocery store has sold roughly 3,000 of the more than 16,000 bottles already sold since Ben’s BS was established.
Ben’s BS can be found in stores throughout SDG and in the surrounding areas, including Ottawa. Visit Macpherson’s website (bensbs.myportfolio.com) for a complete list. Ben’s BS is also available for purchase online (mylocalmarkets.ca).
Right now, Ben’s BS comes in six delicious flavours, including Honey Hot, Maple Chipotle, Root Beer, Honey Garlic, Jalapeno Lime, and Honey Extra Hot. While some have the word “hot” in the name, Macpherson said his barbecue sauce should not be mistaken for hot sauce, as it’s just hot enough to enhance the flavour without overpowering the senses.
“I’m in a fair amount of butcher shops, so I think they get a more intimate relationship than maybe some of the grocery stores do, and the feedback from them, so far, has been quite positive,” Macpherson said. “I’m going to do these six flavours well and manage the stores to be able to sustain their requests, before I try to do more than I can handle. Once I hit a groove with this, then I’ve got some new ideas in mind.”
Macpherson said he’s recently trialed a Bacon and Whiskey flavour, which has received good review. Until he finds a way to streamline the production of the new flavour, however, it will remain a specialty item.
With the demand for Ben’s BS growing, Macpherson has made a few changes. Originally, he rented kitchen space at Matilda Hall, but now Macpherson owns a production kitchen of his own, completely outfitted for current and future growth. He’s also added a four-litre jug for restaurants that may be looking to incorporate Ben’s BS flavours into their menus.
“Ultimately, you have to have a good product or it’s not going to sell,” Macpherson said. “So, there’s that, but also the local support. It’s been nice to be able to do something in the area that I grew up in and to see it take off and to see the support from family and friends and people who are just saying, ‘Hey, I want to be part of this. We want to help you. We want to showcase your stuff.’”
Macpherson said his goal for Ben’s BS is to create a delicious quality product, one that allows him to work for himself, while still having time for the important things, like spending time with his wife, Meghan, and their two sons. As the only employee of Ben’s BS, Macpherson said he’s grateful for his mother and his mother-in-law, who have both been a tremendous help in getting his barbecue sauces bottled and labeled. Macpherson said his plan for Ben’s BS’s future is to grow the business at a sustainable rate, one that complements his family life.
To learn more about Ben’s BS, visit Macpherson’s website (bensbs.myportfolio.com). To stay current on new flavours or product venues, follow Ben’s BS on Facebook and Instagram. To contact Macpherson directly, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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