OnlineBottles BLOG Continued

Good reading about a BBQ Sauce start-up

Are you considering starting your own sauce line?  Read below for some inspiration!  BOTTLE IT UP!
Our 16 oz glass bottle is the perfect fit!

Plant City couple create barbecue sauce, land Sweetbay deal

PLANT CITY — Like a lot of backyard barbecuers, Tim Lawson thinks his homemade sauce is the best.

But unlike the raft of self-proclaimed grill masters, Lawson can lay claim to something most can’t: The Plant City man sells his sauce in supermarkets.

Lawson’s Dip-n-Q sauce is in 103 Sweetbays across Florida. It’s on shelves at Felton’s Market in downtown Plant City and scores of Tampa Bay specialty shops.

An avid barbecuer — Lawson barbecues three times a week and owns two smokers — he started making his sauce four years ago at his home on Fulwood Drive as an alternative to store-bought brands.

“We were sitting here one day and kind of just stood up and said we don’t want to buy this mass-produced stuff. It overpowered the food we were eating,” he said. “We’d try one, then another. It got to the point where we weren’t buying any sauce.”

Lawson and his wife, Michelle, pulled out a stainless steel stock pot and pored over ingredients. A couple of hours later, they hit on a recipe for Dip-n-Q, which refers to “dipping” and “barbecuing.”

“We almost had it on the first try,” Michelle, 44, said.

They gave it to friends during a hunting trip in Georgia and were offered money. Relatives suggested they bottle it and go into business. Little by little, Lawson’s gained a following.

“At first, we made it in gallon jugs,” Lawson said.

He started by selling locally at Lawson Hardware, owned by an aunt, at 3217 N Cork Road in Plant City.

Along the way, the couple got serious, securing Food and Drug Administration approval and signing a contract with Hot Wachula’s, a dip and salsa maker in Bartow, to bottle it on a mass scale.

Throughout, the couple’s marketing plan stayed simple: Word of mouth and tastings, which is how the sauce ended up in Sweetbay.

Two years ago, Lawson strode into the Alexander Street store with some bottles and asked for the manager. A week later, Lawson called back and was told to bring over a couple of cases and talk pricing, he said.

A few months after that, he took an order from another Sweetbay. Then this past fall the sauce was expanded to all of the Florida stores. Nearly 1,200 cases, or 14,400 bottles. All delivered personally.

For weeks, Lawson, his father, Bill Lawson Sr., and a friend, Jeff West, crisscrossed the state from Gainesville to Naples, dropping off cases of sauce.

“For two weeks, that’s all they did,” Michelle Lawson said.

The couple also do in-store tastings for customers. They bring a fryer and dip french fries into the sauce.

Lawson, 47, owns Southern Site Restoration Inc., which performs tree trimming and concrete repair along highways. That remains his main business, but lately sauce delivery is taking up more time. He has a climate-controlled storage building in the back yard. The couple have three grown children.

“Our youngest (Kailyn Lawson) uses it on the Publix hard rolls. She puts a hole in it and fills it up. A sauce eclair,” Lawson said.

They were approached to sell the business, but turned down the offer, sensing the potential. They don’t want to reveal earnings or sales but claim the sauce, which retails for $4.19 a bottle in Sweetbay, is a top seller among high-end competitors.

“It you want a 99-cent bottle of sauce that’s what you’re going to get,” he said. “I’ve heard people eat it on top of eggs and as a salad dressing.

“One of the ladies at work uses the hot sauce as a bloody Mary mix,” Lawson’s father-in-law, Wayne Alward, 65, of Lansing, Mich., said. “I like it on Fritos.”

They haven’t turned a profit yet, but expect to do so this year. The couple have distribution deals pending, including with global restaurant distributor Sysco Corp. Publix is waiting until the company gets bigger, Lawson said.

The sauce comes in three types — original, hot and honey. More are planned, including extra hot and mustard. Depending on the store, prices range from $3.99 to $4.95.

“He had a demo early on,” Felton’s general manager Mike Mondsini said. “He’s getting a following. It sells well. We’re almost out again. I’ll have to give him a call.”

Eventually, the company plans to make regular giving to veterans and first responder groups part of their business plan. In particular, the company aims to support the Thin Blue Line, which helps families of injured or deceased police officers.

“That’s one thing we’re very passionate about,” Lawson said. “We want Americans to take care of Americans.”

Contact Rich Shopes at or (813) 661-2454.



How to Bottle Sauces in Plastic Jars…brought to you by eHow

How to Bottle Sauces in Plastic Jars

By Samantha Herman, eHow Contributor

How to Bottle Sauces in Plastic Jars thumbnail

If sauce is stored properly, it can be used for future meals or given away as gifts.

Putting sauce into a jar may seem like a very simple task, but one should take temperature into consideration and also figure out the best way to avoid a mess when doing it. The following steps will provide some helpful insight.



    • 1

      Make sure that all sauces are cool to the touch. Bottling hot liquids in plastic containers is not advisable because plastic can melt and warp. Plus, studies have shown that hot liquids will cause some plastics to leak or release hazardous chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA).

    • 2

      Use a funnel to fill the plastic containers with the desire sauce. Be sure to rinse the funnel between each different kind of sauce.

    • 3

      Label each jar to ensure that there is no confusion in the future. Consider using a permanent marker rather than an ink pen to make the labels, just in case any moisture ever gets into the area where the sauces are being stored.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you plan to give the sauces away to friends or family, it is helpful to write the storage instructions on the label as well (for example, write “please refrigerate”).
  • The FDA is currently reviewing concerns about BPA and is saying, for the time being, that it is not necessary to discontinue use of any plastics that may contain BPA. However, researchers from the University of Cincinnati cite that being careful about the temperature of the liquids you are putting into those plastic containers may help prevent any leeching of the chemical into foods. In this case, it it probably better to err on the side of caution and cool the sauces first.

How to Start a Home-Based BBQ Sauce Business

By Allison Dodge, eHow Contributor


How to Start a Home-Based BBQ Sauce Business thumbnail

BBQ sauce is a favorite to add flavor to grilled meats.

Barbecue (BBQ) sauce is a complement to a variety of meats including beef, pork and chicken. While many people choose to cook with it, others use it as a dipping sauce. Opening your own business specializing in BBQ sauce can be profitable but also expensive to start. You can save money on the startup costs by learning how to start a home-based BBQ sauce business.


    • Create a business plan. Determine how to make your BBQ sauce different from your competition as well as how you plan to sell and earn a profit. Know how much money you need to start your business and how long you’ll need funding to cover the operating expenses until sales of your sauce earn you a profit. For assistance when drafting your business plan, consult the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    • 2

      Make your own sauce. Develop your own recipe for BBQ sauce as this makes it unique and stand out from the competition. Hire others to make your sauce and buy the rights to use it exclusively if you can’t come up with a recipe on your own. Make sure that if you do make it yourself, you get the recipe copyrighted so that no one else can use it. This can be done by contacting the U.S. Copyright Office. Have your BBQ sauce analyzed by a food nutrition lab as this gives you the calorie count and nutritional information that you’ll need for labeling requirements once you begin selling it.

    • 3

      Seek funding. Take a copy of your business plan to a local bank or other financial institution, and use it to apply for a business loan. Make sure that your credit score and credit history are good enough to qualify for a loan and that there are no major problems on your credit report that would serve as a red flag to the lender. Take time to fix your credit report and bring your score up if it is low, as this can help you qualify for more loans and better rates.

    • 4

      Register your business. Check with your local zoning board to ensure that you can operate a business from your home legally. Obtain local business lessons from your city or county government and register with the health department as a food business. Take food-handling classes if required and complete walk-through inspections with a representative from the health department to have your home approved to produce food. Complete the employer identification number (EIN) form from the website of the Internal Revenue Service to register your business on the federal level while registering with the Department of Revenue at the local and state level to collect and pay sales tax.

    • 5

      Obtain supplies. Buy the ingredients you’ll need to make your BBQ sauce. Consider buying these in bulk quantities to save money and increase your profits. Buy bottles or jars to distribute the sauce, making sure that a nutritional label is attached to each one. Buy shipping materials that allow your bottles or jars of BBQ sauce to travel across the country without breaking.

    • 6

      Sell your sauce. Make a website that allows customers to order your BBQ sauce directly from your home-based business. Network with local grocery managers to get your BBQ sauce on shelves in grocery stores in your area. Expand as the demand for your sauce grows. Provide free taste tests and samples during popular shopping times at grocery stores as well as other large scale public events such as fairs, festivals and even farmers markets.


Read more:


Blueberry Barbecue Sauce! Bottle it up! Unique recipe from Edible Perspective

We’re getting anxious to ‘bottle it up’ here at! Here’s inspiration in the form of one of our favorite fruits!

Thank you to!

fresh blueberry

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce [yields 1 1/4 cup] adapted from Food and Wine

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup minced onion
1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 Tbsp minced jalapeno, seeded
1.5 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
1.5 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4tsp liquid smoke
Set a med-large pot over medium heat with the oil.
Once hot add in the onion and jalapeno, stirring frequently for 6-8min until the mixture starts to soften and turn light brown.
Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add all other ingredients and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer [uncovered] for about 20-25min until it reduces and starts to thicken.
Take off the heat and partially blend with an immersion [hand] blender. *You can also leave it as is [without blending] or use a blender to make the sauce completely smooth.
Taste and add more salt, pepper, or smoke flavor if desired. For extra heat add cayenne pepper.
Let sit for 5 minutes as it will continue to thicken.
notes: Jalapenos can vary in their level of spice. I used 2 Tbsp [seeded] and it left the sauce with a mild-medium bite. I used a combination of liquid smoke [original] and smoked paprika but feel free to use just one or the other.


Limoncello…the real thing! from

 Lemon slices background

 Thank you for this AUTHENTIC recipe!

Bottle it up in a 375 ml glass container!

From my aunt Doreen

Peels of 10 organic lemons, sliced in thin strips.
1 liter grain alcohol
4 cups sugar

Put the lemon peels into a big jug containing 1 liter of grain alcohol. Let it sit for 2-4 weeks, then strain the lemon strips out of the alcohol and put the liquid into a large jug. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat 6 1/2 cups of water along with 4 cups of sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let the syrup cool completely, then add it to the alcohol and enjoy! You can serve limoncello at room temperature or, as is traditional in Southern Italy, well chilled in chilled little glasses.


DIY Salve for Cracked Heels from Wellness Mama

Male and female feet are standing on the sandy beach


Mix up a big batch of this salve for a 16 oz wide mouth jar !  Summer’s coming, and you want your tootsies to look beach worthy!


DIY Salve for Cracked Heels

A simple homemade salve with essential oils that helps reduce cracked feet and heels.
Author: Wellness Mama
Recipe type: Natural Remedy
¼ cup Shea Butter
¼ cup Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Beeswax
¼ cup Magnesium Flakes + 2 Tablespoons boiling water (Or ¼ cup of pre-made Magnesium oil, though this won’t yield as much magnesium in the final product)
10 drops Oregano Essential Oil (Not for use during pregnancy or on children)
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water in to the magnesium flakes in a small container and stir until it dissolves. This will create a thick liquid. Set aside to cool.
In a quart size mason jar inside a small pan with 1 inch of water, combine the coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter and turn on medium heat.
When melted, remove the jar from the pan and let the mixture cool until room temp and slightly opaque. At this point, put in to a medium bowl or into a blender.
If in a bowl, use a hand blender or immersion blender on medium speed and start blending the oil mixture.
Slowly (starting with a drop at a time) add the dissolved magnesium mixture to the oil mixture while continuing blending until all of the magnesium mix is added and it is well-mixed.
Add the oregano and peppermint essential oils if using and whip until combined.
Put in the fridge for 15 minutes and re-blend to get body butter consistency.
Store in fridge for a cooling lotion (best consistency) or at room temp for up to two months.
Use on cracked heels at night. Apply a thick coat and wear socks until the salve absorbs.
Do not use Oregano or Peppermint Essential Oils on children or while pregnant. As with any medical condition, check with a doctor if things don’t improve or if you have any specific concerns.


Homemade Perfumed Vanilla Oil

Jillian from Jillian in Italy uses it as a body perfume, room freshener and bath oil.

 You need three ingredients to make this simple Vanilla Perfume Oil:   vanilla beans, vodka and jojoba oil.

Click on the picture below to find the recipe and bottle it up in perfume samplers that you'll find at

woman holding test tube with red liquid, isolated on white


Glass Bottles and Plastic Bottles  can be found at You can use out Woozy Bottles, Wine Bottles, Square Marasca Bottles, Marinade Bottles, Salad Dressing Bottles, and so many more!

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