Success Story

Chef Phil BBQ 2016

Chef Phil’s Badass BBQ Sauce

The SBDC started me on the path I am on today. They organized me, informed me of the pitfalls and introduced me to the JAX Bridges Program for Entrepreneurs. Additionally, it wasn’t just one meeting, there were follow-up meetings to verify my progress with my business plan. And also to shore up any areas I may have overlooked. As I stated on First Coast Living, having the SBDC and Jax Bridges in your corner, means your chance of success is much, much greater.

Chef Phil Brown has a passion to spice up life – especially with his line of BBQ sauces and butt rubs. Over the past 15 years, Chef Phil has crafted his taste-bud-tantalizing BBQ products to the spicy, smoky and sweet creations they are today. With a product line of three BBQ sauces, a hot sauce, and a butt rub, Chef Phil incorporates the indigenous datil pepper of St. Augustine. “Datil peppers belong to us here on the First Coast; they are native to St. Augustine. So why not use something that is natural, locally farmed and tastes so great!” Chef Phil says.

Upon retiring from UPS after 30 years, Chef Phil turned his skills to the food world and enrolled in culinary school at First Coast Technical College. It is at FCTC where he became a certified sous chef and found his niche with the daitl pepper. “Datil peppers are so nice. They are a bit sweet, but pack a lot of heat,” according to Phil. He has continued to work with FCTC as a culinary instructor these past four years, teaching students about working with datil peppers.

Meanwhile, Phil started building his Badass BBQ Sauce company at local farmers markets and BBQ competitions. One competition in particular, the Small Business Breakthrough contest, landed him second place among 525 local businesses and providing him the award of a website makeover with Web.com and a limited sponsorship from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The opportunity for growth was imminent and needed to be strategized. Particularly, his challenge was preparing for the new forecasted amount of production.

The next step was to seek advice from FSBDC consultant, Kevin Monahan, and graduate assistant, Kaitlyn Saavedra. Kevin and Kaitlyn sat down with Phil to review his business plan and discuss strategic and funding opportunities. Phil needed to redesign his bottles from glass to plastic due to sponsorship regulations as well as revamp his marketing campaign in anticipation of his growth. In order to do this, he needed to create a functional business plan and seek capital. Kaitlyn continued to work with Phil to perfect his business plan and research industry trends, while Kevin recommended Phil to the JAX Bridges program.
With this recommendation of the FSBDC staff, Phil was accepted into the program and began working with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce to develop his entrepreneurial skills further. This program opened many doors for Chef Phil, including the opportunity to sit with representatives from Winn-Dixie.

Since working with the FSBDC, Phil has been able to switch his bottle production to plastic and has continued to sell his products at EverBank Field during Jacksonville Jaguars football games. New logos and social media marketing strategies have assisted him in increased sales and even in hiring additional workers. With networking connections, he has been able to expand his product to ACE Hardware and has been featured in local media, such as The St. Augustine Record and First Coast Living.

“The SBDC started me on the path I am on today. They organized me, informed me of the pitfalls and introduced me to the JAX Bridges Program for Entrepreneurs. Additionally, it wasn’t just one meeting, there were follow-up meetings to verify my progress with my business plan. And also to shore up any areas I may have overlooked. As I stated on First Coast Living, having the SBDC and Jax Bridges in your corner, means your chance of success is much, much greater.”

Chef Phil’s Badass BBQ SauceChef Phil Brown