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Rick Doty, known to many as Big Rick, started making his barbecue sauce more than 20 years ago, when he couldn’t find a barbecue sauce with a taste he could crave. Turns out, Rick wasn’t alone. His big tasting sauces caught on and soon customers were lining up at food fairs and cooking events to get a jar of “Big Rick’s.” Soon after, Rick quit his job as a house painter and along with close friends and family started cooking full-time.
“I thought it would be a hobby,” Doty said. “I never even thought about doing it full time. But it started taking off, so we quit painting houses and started cooking.”
Rick and his crew developed sauce recipes in long and raucous tasting sessions, that sometimes lasted late into the night. Once they found combinations that met the men’s taste buds, they cooked up the winning sauces in large pots and poured them into jars. The last step was attaching plastic tamper-proof sleeves on the lids and shrinking them into place with a hair dryer. Labels were drawn up and the much-loved sauces were named after Rick’s closest loved ones.
“That’s my dog, Boots, on the salsa. I modestly put myself on the barbecue sauce. The ketchup and mustard have my dad’s dog buster on it in the label. The chili fixins’ is my mom.”
Today, with investment from a passionate group of customers, Big Rick’s Brand has expanded to include a wide range of BBQ sauces, salsas, ketchup, mustard, chili and pasta sauce. Big Rick’s brand is found in stores from Seattle to Miami and Sydney to Brisbane thanks to a licensing agreement in Australia. Big Rick’s production has moved from that original garage stacked with pots and one very important hair dryer to a larger production facility with larger scale commercial equipment to meet customer demand. Of course, all the products fulfill the big taste promise that cause Big Rick’s customers to crave and share. The big taste of Big Rick’s brand reflects its rowdy beginning and one man’s quest for the big tastes men crave.
Big Rick’s products big taste starts by avoiding the pitfall of the many thin vinegar or water based sauces. Big Rick’s is manufactured in the strictest environment, never adding any vinegar, water or salt. Refraining from adding nonessential “volumizing” products such as water or vinegar gives the sauce more luxurious feel and a big, smooth and flavorful taste.