"...I have no doubt some serious work went into getting the formula just right because no one flavor dominates, the spice and seasonings all meld together beautifully. I couldn't stop dunking my short ribs into this sauce. I'm convinced it would make just about anything taste good."

– Amy Sherman, Cooking with Amy

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Too Small To Be That Big

A recent 4th of July display at Bi-Rite Market
We have some news to pass along, as we’re making a major change to how we sell our sauce. We’re no longer going to be selling SFQ at the larger grocery chains, but instead are going to focus on selling directly to the public through our online store, as well as the occasional festival. 

The sauce will still be available at a few select neighborhood markets in San Francisco, like Bi-Rite, but the margins were just too low to continue selling at the Whole Foods of the world. When we created SFQ, we knew selling retail would be a challenge, since it was an expensive sauce to produce, and we weren’t prepared to sacrifice the quality to make it less expensive to make. When you tack on the distributor costs, selling retail just didn’t add up. 

We’ll continue to sell and ship the sauce from here, as well as do the occasional pubic event, and hope to enjoy your continued support. Feel free to drop us a line about larger orders, and if you live in the Bay Area, we’ve been known to sell a little SFQ right from our garage…I mean, warehouse. Happy barbequing, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Breaking News: SFQ Has Been Featured in Martha Stewart Living!

We’re very proud to announce that SFQ has just been featured in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living! For an artisan food producer to make her editor’s picks is a little bit like being knighted. As Martha would say, 'it's a good thing.'

Just in case you decided to run out, and get a copy of the magazine, let me save you some time, and tell you it’s on page 56. We just got back from Healdsburg, where we delivered a fresh supply of the sauce to Shed, which the magazine chose to list as the retail source.

A sincere thanks to everyone at MSL for including us in this issue, and we look forward to a new audience learning about, and hopefully tasting the sauce. This is not a sponsored post, but I feel obligated to share the fact I’ve always been a huge fan of the magazine, and used to proudly display tall stacks of all the issues I’d collected. It was the source of so much information, and inspiration.

I met Martha only once, way back in 1996; if you can call giving someone a Bloody Mary as a caterer at a wedding reception, meeting someone. Even though our encounter was brief, and 20 years ago, I can say she was as in control, and gracious in person, as she appears on TV. It goes without saying that women like Martha Stewart helped make what I do now, possible. Here’s a link to the magazine, in case you’d like to start your own stack.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Happy New Year Announcement!

We wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and let you know that SFQ is now available in southern California! We’ve shipped a fair amount of sauce to our friends down south, but now you can find SFQ at two brand new retail locations.

The sauce is available at Farmshop, 225 26th St, in Santa Monica; as well as The Market Hall, 969 Market St, in San Diego. I haven’t been to Farmshop yet, but thanks to my sister Jennifer getting married on New Year’s Eve, I was able to stop by The Market Hall to see the sauce proudly displayed on both their shelves and butcher counter (pictured here)!

If you’re near either of those stores, I hope you pay them a visit, and not just to pick up a few jars of sauce, but also to see all the other wonderful artisan food products these two great new markets offer. One of our resolutions for 2016 is to make SFQ available in more markets across this great, barbecue-sauce-loving nation.

Which reminds me, if you have a lead on a store in your area that would be a good candidate to carry the sauce, let us know, and we’ll try to make it happen. Thank you, and best wishes in the New Year!

Friday, October 2, 2015

A San Francisco BBQ Festival is Born!

We are proud to announce that on October 24, we’ll be participating in the inaugural San Francisco BBQ Festival! This event is being billed as a celebration of the best in Bay Area barbecue, and we’re beyond thrilled to be involved. 

Of course, the event will include lots of great, smoky barbecued meat, but there’s also going to be games, music, and a beer garden; as well as what the organizers are describing as the latest in barbecue technology. We’re not exactly sure what that’s going to be, but hey, you can’t have a festival around these parts without including some cutting-edge tech.

If you’d like to check it out, you can get more info on the official event website. By the way, tickets are limited, so if you think you’d like to go, don’t wait too long to order yours. We hope to see you there, and if you mention this blog post, we're going to send you home with a complimentary jar of SFQ. So, come by, and say hi! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Good Food Awards Go Into the Pantry

Last year around this time, I had a few fans of the sauce wish me good luck in the Good Food Awards. It was very flattering, but also a little awkward, since SFQ wasn’t actually entered. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but the awards simply didn’t have a category that our barbecue sauce fit into. Well, I’m happy to announce that has changed this year!

They’ve added a Pantry category, and not only that, but I’ve been asked to serve on the committee for this new group of products. My friend, and local artisan food maven, Alli Ball, is chairing the committee, and being able to participate with her and the other members, is quite an honor. In case your wondering, even though I'm on the committee, we can still enter SFQ, since I don’t have anything to do with the voting.

My main duty is to hunt down similar producers, and encourage them to enter their fine products. Basically, I’m trying to help assemble the toughest competition imaginable, knowing full well that the real winner is the buying public, who hopefully learns about many great, new companies by following these awards.

You can read all about it at the Good Food Awards website, and if you know of any worthy participants, please let me know! You can leave a comment here, or tweet me: @MicheleManfredi. I’m really looking forward to this celebration of authentic, and responsibly produced food, and will keep you updated as news breaks. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Eating with Our Hands

Our very first dinner date was in February, 1989. We went to a local barbecue joint, so there was none of those anxious, wondering what I should order, first date food fears. I remember laughing when we both ordered the same thing, a big, saucy plate of ribs. Smiling at each other, flirting, we forgo the napkins.

Our table etiquette was sauce covered fingers, with only occasional downward glances to pick up more ribs. Conversation was easy, the food was good, and a romance began over shared plates of lip smacking, messy barbecue. Our first date aside, one could argue that barbecued food just tastes better because it’s socially acceptable to eat with your hands.

It has that primal aspect of shared culinary history, that no matter where you’re from, eating with your hands is something our ancestors did. I like to think everyone at the table feels more comfortable when they’re eating barbecue. That there's more of a connection with the food. It’s a special camaraderie you only get through plates being shared.

Now, some 26 years later, we're still eating with our hands, flirting with each other, and just like back then, I always manage to somehow drip some sauce on my chest, only this time it's our sauce. With that in mind, I hope you have a great Valentine's, and if you're still deciding on what to eat, you can't go wrong with barbecue...especially, if it's served with a sauce spiked with potent and popular aphrodisiacs like chiles and chocolate.

Monday, September 1, 2014

As Summer Ends, Another San Francisco Barbecue Season Begins

Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." It’s a brilliant quote, except for the fact that he never said any such thing. No one knows who actually spouted the famous quote, but it certainly is appropriate. Summer in The City is often cold, foggy, and windy; not exactly the kind of weather you hope for when planning a barbecue.

Before you feel too sorry for us, I should mention that to make up for this, the weather Gods give us plenty of gorgeous weather over the next month or two so we can catch up. The winds die down, the fog disappears, and things get downright pleasant. Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t care, and the days continue to get shorter and shorter. So, while we have great weather to cook outside, we don’t have quite as long to do it, and that’s where SFQ comes in.

The sauce is a perfect way to finish quickly grilled things like fish, shrimp, Korean-cut short ribs, tofu, and vegetables. Just before you think dinner is cooked, brush it generously with SFQ, wait a minute, turn, and repeat. The sauce caramelizes very quickly, and you’ll soon be enjoying the taste of summer – just not in summer. Mark Twain would have been proud.