Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
RC: I am Russ Cerniglia owner of Russ & Frank’s BBQ Sauce
MW: What made you get into the food business?
RC: Well, most people eat to live however I live to eat and haven’t found too many types of foods I don’t like so it was a natural
MW: How did your product came about?
RC: My next door neighbor Frank and I both like to barbecue so when we went out of town we would always bring back a bbq sauce from the area we were working. Never found one that really wowed us. We were drinking beer on the deck one night, started talking smart and decided we could do better than the sauces that were on the market. It took us about 1½ years to come up with the original mild flavor. We threw out a lot of sauce before we finally came up with a winner. Thinking back we probably needed an excuse to drink beer in the winter rather than coming up with a bbq sauce. It was fun.
MW: How me different lines of product do you have?
RC: We have four flavors of sauce.
Mild: Is a full bodied, sweet and smooth with a slow moving flavor that has a hint of garden fresh & roasted onion. It’s rich on the palate and perfect for the person who blushes at the thought of something spicy.
Sassy: Just as the name implies, never fails to talk back. It has a tad bit of a bite in the finish, always leaving you wanting more. It is eminently elegant and richly vibrant, all the while maintaining its approachability to all things barbecued.
Fiery: Releases a rush of spicy taste. It is for people who relish heat in their sauce while still having skin on their lips at the end of their meal. It delivers an outstanding harmony of taste, aroma and excitement.
X-Fiery: Is for the hotties who take their barbecue to the extreme. Savory cayenne peppers blend with the sweet flavor of the sauce for a match made in heaven – if heaven ever gets this hot.
MW: Do you have any other products coming out?
RC: Not at this time. Have thought about coming out with a dry rub and maybe some fruit flavored bbq sauces but it has only been a thought.
MW: Which one is your best selling product?
RC: Our Sassy flavor is the best seller. Most people like just a little bit of spice and sassy fits the bill.
MW: Where can consumers find your product in the store?
RC: At this time we are primarily located in retail stores in Iowa however we are as far west as California and east Pennsylvania with a few in between. We try to keep our website updated for places to buy as they come on board
MW: Can consumers buy it from your website?
RC: Yes, consumers can buy from our website http://www.russandfranks.com
MW: Do you do food trade show?
RC: We haven’t done any trade shows to date, although we have entered a few bbq sauce contests in different parts of the country. Seriously considering doing a trade show in 2014 however haven’t decided which one.
MW: How have they gone for you?
RC: Fiery was the Grand Champion at Best of the Best in Waycross, GA, Sassy won 1st place at the Scovie Awards in Albuquerque, NM, X-Fiery won 1st place at the Hot Pepper Awards in New York City just to name a few
MW: What do you see in the future for your company?
RC: To date we have grown each year and should continue as bbq has become a staple throughout the country in the last five years. Hope to become the bbq sauce that everyone thinks of when looking for a sauce
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
RC: Thanx for the opportunity to tell people about our sauces. For the people out there give us a try and you will not be disappointed in our flavors.