I think I first stumbled across the Dog-Gone Sauce Company on Facebook. Most of their posts were animal-related, which caught my attention because they were a hot sauce company, so I wanted to learn more about them. I came to find out that the Dog-Gone Sauce Company was created for the sole purpose of donating 100% of their after-tax profits to animal shelters and rescues. Learning this inspired me to seek out other sauce companies that were created in order to support particular causes and write this blog series. Therefore, I was especially grateful to have the opportunity to interview the founder of Dog-Gone Sauce Company, Jeff Schmidt, and share their story with you.
Dog-Gone Hot Sauce
Jeff has been an animal-lover his entire life, from caring for his many pets as a child to regularly donating to the Humane Society as an adult. However, once the economic recession hit, Jeff found that he wouldn’t be able to continue his donations. He had to get creative if he wanted to keep supporting his less-fortunate, furry friends.
“I learned how to make hot sauce from a friend and thought I could create a residual income to help animals with something I enjoy doing in my spare time,” Jeff told me.
In 2011, Dog-Gone Sauces was born, and Jeff started creating his own unique hot and BBQ sauces. In addition to donating all of their after-tax profits to animal shelters and rescues, they also donate sauces to shelters with gift shops for those organizations to sell and keep all of the revenue through Jeff’s Helping the Animals Program.
“The organization that I’m mostly involved with is the Pit Bull Crew in Naples FL,” Jeff explained. “They are the most involved in my Helping the Animals program and naturally have benefited the most. I have a great relationship with my local Humane Society and try to make it to their events when possible.”
Creating Dog-Gone Sauce Company has enabled Jeff to donate over $10,000 to various animal shelters to date. Although Jeff is aware that his company has enabled him to make a difference in the lives of many animals on a daily basis, he noted, “I get pleasure in knowing that even if I only helped one dog in my whole life, that’s one more that was saved.”
The Hot Sauces
“I come up with a lot of my sauces by trying other sauces,” Jeff revealed. “There are so many great sauces on the market, and I’ve met some amazing sauce makers and made some great friendships over the years—I have to credit them with inspiring me."
From standards like Chipotle to more unique flavors like Honey Rum, Dog-Gone Sauce Company offers a wide range of sauces. “My favorite sauce in my line always seems to be my latest,” said Jeff. “Right now, I have a BBQ sauce called Grillin’ Sauce that I’m about to launch.”
I also saw on their website that they have a seasonal Pumpkin Spice Hot Sauce. Although I’m not all about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I do love pumpkin and I’ve never tried it in a sauce like this, so I’m intrigued. Beyond the variety of flavors, some of the sauces are even award-winning.
“I have noticed an increase in popularity when I started entering my sauces in contests,” Jeff reported. “My Chipotle was co-Grand Champion in the 2013 Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo and that is when I started seeing a difference nationally.”
If you are passionate about both hot sauce and animals, you should check out Dog-Gone Sauces for yourself. Jeff told me that “I never have a problem answering the question, ‘Is it about the sauce or it is about the cause?’” Because although he does love the sauces, Jeff makes it clear that Dog-Gone Sauce Company is all about the cause—benefiting less-fortunate, abused, and abandoned animals.