If you’re seriously into barbecue, then you’ve probably heard of Ole Ray’s Gourmet Sauces and Seasonings. “Ole Ray” himself, Ray Green, is a barbecue expert who has been creating sauces for well over a decade. As a member of the National Barbecue Association and certified Kansas City BBQ Society Judge, Ray has sampled barbecue all across America—so you know this guy knows his BBQ. Since Ole Ray’s Sauces are new to Hot Sauce Depot, I took the opportunity to ask Ray some questions to learn more about his products and help introduce y’all to his sauces.
Ole Ray’s Sauces: How It All Started
Ray met his lovely wife, Susan, over 30 years ago when he came to work for her at his former business. He started making sauces at home to share with his friends and family before finally deciding to sell his sauces to the public in 2000.
“Grew up in the South and when I moved to Ohio, I was very frustrated with the lack of good sauces to choice from,” Ray told me. “So I just went out and started trying to sell everywhere I could, and it just seemed to grow and grow. We now have customers all over the United States and also abroad.”
Now Ray has a dozen products under his belt, and he and Susan travel the country to deliver and demonstrate his sauces. Ole Ray’s Sauces have consistently won at competitions, trade shows, and events every year since he first officially went into production in 2000. His Apple Cinnamon Barbecue Sauce has also been featured in Life Magazine and Consumer’s Digest.
“[Our] Kentucky Red Bourbon won World Champion last year,” Ray said. “That was very exciting as there were sauces from all over the world that had entered. Really proud of all our awards. It is amazing to me to have made products that are so well-liked. Of course, I made them all for me and I’m happy so many people enjoy them.”
About The Sauce
Ray comes up with his flavor profiles by choosing something that he likes that will also be able to translate well into grilling and cooking, like his Blackberry Wine Barbeque & Cooking Sauce, Red Delicious Apple Bourbon BBQ & Cooking Sauce, and Peach-A-Licious Barbeque Sauce. He doesn’t have anything new coming out soon due to his strong commitment to quality over quantity.
“It takes a lot of time and tasting to bring out a new flavor,” he explained. “My sauces are all good on fingers or I don't make it. So try them all till you find your favorite."
Ray’s favorite is his Kentucky Red Bourbon Barbeque Sauce, which also happens to be the first one he created. He recommends using it to make a Kentucky Red Bourbon Burger by following his simple recipe: “Mix the sauce and our Rubb-It into your hamburger meat. Then make a patty and grill or cook to perfection. Easy and delicious!”
If you’re thinking about trying to make your own sauces or recipes, Ray encourages you to “don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s how I started.” In fact, if he could go back in time and give himself one piece of advice, it would be “to have started this sauce business in my twenties instead of my later years.”
I want to thank Ray for taking the time to answer my questions. Ole Ray’s Sauces are now available at Hot Sauce Depot, so go check them out!