Accuse Dr. Richard Easley of "hitting the sauce," and he'll laughingly confess it's true - Dr. Easley's Mighty Fine BBQ Dipping Sauce, that is.
For more than five years, Dr. Easley, associate professor of marketing, has won rave reviews from family and friends for his homemade barbeque sauce. After hearing "you ought to sell this stuff" often enough, he decided to try it.
Last summer, he took jars of his sauce to Big Daddy's, a restaurant near campus. It quickly became a hit, and now he is selling the restaurant five gallons a week, he said.
"It is fun doing this because every marketing professor should have a secret sauce, " Dr. Easley joked. Selling the product has allowed him to learn even more about food marketing, which has been helpful in academic research he is doing.
It's also made him popular with his students. After seeing his name on bottles at the restaurant, several have asked him, "That isn't you, is it?" He enjoys the attention, especially if it comes before he mentions the sauce himself.
Despite encouragement to expand the marketing of his sauce, Dr. Easley isn't rushing into it. Instead, he wants to build up the sauce's "resume" through word-of-mouth reviews, letting it "mature on its own," he said.
"It is the same as cooking the sauce," he said. "You can turn the sauce on high, and you will burn it. You have to warm it slowly."
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