Mike Vagianos and Mike Weeks talk about their special sauce

Updated: Jan 22, 2019



Where are you from? We are both rare natives of Charlotte, NC.

Where did you study and what is your background? Mike V: UNC-Chapel Hill

Web Developer/ Musician.

Mike W: S.C.A.D.

Computer Technology/Artist.

Let’s talk about Ogre Sauce. What is it? Ogre Sauce is an incredibly versatile, craft BBQ sauce. In laymen's terms, it's a BBQ sauce that is amazing on traditional BBQ but as it turns out (according to tons of stories being told to us by our fans), the sauce can be used with a huge array of other foods and recipes with delicious results. The sauce is Mike Week's baby: Mike Weeks found his grandmother’s recipe, made it his own, and before long was selling it in five-gallon buckets out of the trunk of his car.

How did you bring it to market? Mike V: It was my job to create the logo, packaging, and to figure out how to get it bottled. To get it bottled, I did what seems logical - I asked someone who had done it already! Of course, that was just the start. There are always details you have to learn the hard way, but at least my path was always pointed in the right direction.

Any surprises along the way? The most interesting part of this journey was tasting the sauce at the bottler for several hours to get the taste right. This is very difficult to do when making a very large batch. We had no idea how much time perfecting the recipe would take. In large amounts, even a dash of vinegar can make a big difference; same with the pepper and the heat it produces. This was an unexpected but great learning experience. Our taste buds needed a vacation after that!

Any challenges? Mike V:

The biggest challenge bringing Ogre Sauce to market was the fact that there is almost no barrier to entry in the Sauce market. Meaning anyone can sell their sauce and, a lot do. There are over 7500 sauces on the market in North America. Another challenge is creating a brand that people want to be a part of. This can only be done with personal relationships and an emotional connection to your brand. Mike Weeks had a passion for this product well before we started bottling it. With Mike's fun personality and love of cooking - coupled with making people happy with amazing food - we had a recipe for success! Having fun and eating well is what drives the business. All the business knowledge and know-how cannot make up for being passionate about your product.

Where did the name Ogre Sauce come from? The name comes from the creator of the sauce: Mike “Ogre” Weeks. We have called him Ogre since junior high school because he was always bigger than everyone else (Revenge of the Nerds reference here). He's been making the sauce since the late 90s. When grilling out, we would always ask for "Ogre's sauce.”

Where can we find Ogre Sauce? You can find Ogre Sauce in several Whole Foods in the Southeast as well as locally in Charlotte at Reid's Fine Foods, JJ Red Hots, Sandwich Max, Blackhawk Hardware, Earls Grocery and at ogresauce.com.


#BBQ #SmallBusinessOwners #Sauce

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