Long-time friends and now partners, Rip Tide Barbecue Sauce’s Greg Hammond and Troy Padgett, of Richmond Hill, updated a family recipe to create their distinctive local barbecue flavor, a combination of which "defines what barbecue is in our region," Hammond said.
The company formed earlier this year, taken from a Hammond family recipe thanks to ‘Uncle’ Lonnie Slade, and was expanded by Padgett and Hammond to develop what is now Rip Tide Barbecue Sauce, Hammond said.
"Troy and I were sitting around one day, eating barbecue sandwiches," Hammond said. "He had been involved with another catering company at one time and perfected his Boston butt cooking method, and we were eating some of that. I had some of my family sauce on it, and he was like, ‘Hey, this is pretty good.’ Then later he said we should market it and see what people think," he said.
Padgett attributed his work with special needs kids, along with cooking at the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival and other events through Special Blessings with Wayne Jackson, as what helped them really get involved.
"It just expanded from there," Padgett said.
The partners said the mix of flavors is what makes Rip Tide sauce stand out from the rest.
"We use a unique blend of three styles of barbecue: North Carolina vinegar based, South Carolina mustard based, and traditional ketchup based flavors," Hammond said.
"It’s a different flavor than I think you’ll find in sauces that are normally made in this part of the country. We do blend the vinegar, mustard, and ketchup, so it’s not an overbearing of any particular flavor," Padgett said.Padgett said he’s "tinkered with sauces and spices in cooking," but used the family recipe as the baseline for what Rip Tide is today.
"We followed it, but added and deleted things. Then, we did a taste-test at the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival last year, of what was basically the final recipe," Padgett said.
The festival gave Rip Tide inventors some good responses, as well as some suggestions.
"After the festival, we went back and added and changed some things slightly and then really started pressing forward after that," he said.
Since the establishment of Rip Tide Barbeque, the partners have remained busy.
"We’ve done multiple events, and the primary goal is always doing things to help others," Padgett said. "We found that cooking is a good way to raise money – whether we’re doing Boston Butt sales, or being hired to cook in someone’s backyard, or the biggest event was the Seafood Festival. My experience with cooking and helping others, along with Greg’s family recipe, is what we used to develop our own sauce."
Currently, Rip Tide Barbeque Sauce can be found locally at Hill of Beans, Cadre Shops and Ella’s in Richmond Hill; and Hill of Beans, Byrd Cookie Company and True Grits in Savannah.
For the future, Padgett and Hammond said their goal is always to get their sauce into more stores. Additionally, the business web site is in the works to be up and running soon. Contact Padgett (572-1080) or Hammond (441-1201) for catering and ordering information, or to become a Rip Tide retailer.