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#048: The Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, Catering, and Restaurant Story – Dave and Duce Raymond

Dave Raymond and Duce Raymond – Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ & Catering – @sbrbbq @sbrcatering @duceswildbbq – Chicago, IL

*This podcast was recorded at the River Ranch Stockyards during the National Barbecue & Grilling Association’s #IAMBBQ2018 National Trade Show and Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.


Dave Raymond the Founder of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce, and Duce Raymond (his nephew) of Sweet Baby Ray’s Catering own two BBQ restaurants, a catering & events company, and compete in BBQ competition under the Duce's Wild brand.
Dave and Duce share their generational journey of growing their business and starting new endeavors.
They started by giving their sauces away as holiday gifts to family members and getting their feedback about the sauces. The sauces kept growing in popularity and the Raymonds kept up their grind to get their sauce in as many places as possible. Capitalizing on their success at Mike Royko’s Ribfest in 1982 Dave and Mike Obrien build Sweet Baby Ray’s into what today is the best-selling barbecue sauce in the country. 
Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauces currently combine to take up 46% of the market share, as the sauces continue to expand internationally.
Now a multi-faceted business operation, Sweet Baby Ray’s boasts two restaurants, a full-service Elk Grove Village location and a barbecue restaurant in Wood Dale run with nephew, Duce, as well as two premier catering companies.
Dave currently resides in Wood Dale, close to relatives and life-long friends, and spends much of his spare time with the barbecue community, still lovin’ the ‘que crew as much as ever.
Duce was destined for the food industry. Son of Chef Larry Raymond and nephew of Dave Raymond, the creators of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, Chef Duce grew up in and around restaurants and began working in the food and service industry at the age of 14. Realizing his passion, Duce later attended Kendall College Culinary School where he graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts, and was a member of Kendall College’s first graduating class to have completed a bachelor’s degree program in culinary study.
Duce is now focused on his SBR Events Group Catering company and growing his line of sauces: Duce's Wild. His specialties include Southern and Central American cuisine and, of course, barbecue–which he has perfected at such recognized events and venues as the Taste of Chicago, the Naperville Ribfest, the Nugget Rib Cook-off, and the Wrigley Field rooftops. Duce has been a guest speaker at the world renowned Catersource Convention in Las Vegas as well as numerous times at the #IAMBBQ Trade Show and Conference for NBBQA.
HOW DID THEY DO IT? Dave says:

Great product
Belief in what we're doing
Passion and commitment
Faith in God
Fear of failure
Working with great people
Attention to detail
Follow up
Follow through

Links Mentioned in this Episode:


Sweet Baby Ray's Website

Sweet Baby Ray's Facebook

True Cuisine

Sweet Baby Ray's Catering

Sweet Baby Ray's Catering Facebook

Sweet Baby Ray's Catering on Instagram

Duce's Wild BBQ

Duce's Wild Awards

Duce's Wild on Instagram

Duce's Wild on Facebook

Contact Duce's Wild BBQ

Contact Sweet Baby Ray's Catering

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Man Meat BBQ

NBBQA Podcast

Catersource – The Show for Catering & Event Professionals 

Peace, Love & Barbecue by Amy Mills

@BBQWarStories Weekly Social Shout Out:
If you sign up to be a NBBQA member, send us a screenshot of your sign up and we will send you some BBQ swag!
Shareable Quotes From This Podcast:

“I used to buy drugs (pharmaceutical) and now I sell barbecue…. was my story for a long time” – Dave {5:52)

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