Business news from the Fredericksburg region.
Ex-detective starts spicy new business
BY BILL FREEHLING
A former detective with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office has started a new company selling barbecue sauce and a rub.
Sam Cielakie has been watching cooking shows since he was 13. In 2005 he started making barbecue and experimenting with recipes for sauces and rubs. He was with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office from 2002 until earlier this summer, when he joined the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as a special agent out of Charlottesville.
His friends and catering clients liked the results of Cielakie’s cooking, and he decided to start a business around the skill. He and his parents, John and Helen, formed Sweet N Sassy BBQ Co. this past November. His father-in-law helps with sales.
Spotsylvania-based For Anything designed their logo, which features a pig and the outline of the state of Virginia. Sam Cielakie said the company name is from the flavor he is trying to capture with the sauce: It starts out sweet but has a little kick at the end.
Since starting the company, the Cielakies have been traveling to various barbecue contests, where their sauces have fared well, and meeting with food stores about selling the product. The company has three different sauces—The Original, Carolina Style and Sweet Peach—and a rub. A mustard-based sauce is in the works. They also cater.
At first Sam Cielakie was making the sauces at his parents’ Spotsylvania home, but increased sales eventually made that impossible. They now produce and bottle the sauce at Bobbees Bottling in Louisburg, N.C.
Their sauces and rub are now sold at the Olde Towne Butcher and Made in Virginia Store in downtown Fredericksburg. They hope to have it in many more stores soon. They also sell through sweetnsassybbqco.com.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405