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Building While Flying

Jul 8, 2021

Some things just run in the family. Such is the case for this week’s guest. What started with a $2,000 investment and a dream is now one of the world’s most popular barbecue brands that people enjoy in restaurants and their own homes.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by the Sasha Group. We’re the small-to-medium-sized business arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding, media, and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Chef Duce Raymond grew up in and around the culinary world and food service industry.

After working in restaurants with his dad and uncle, and attending culinary school, Duce and his Uncle Dave opened the first Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ restaurant in 2005. Since its inception, they have grown their restaurant and catering business, sold millions of bottles of their famous Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces, rocked the barbecue competition circuit, and grown Sweet Baby Ray’s into a $650 million brand.

In his conversation with Mickey, Duce shares how Sweet Baby Ray’s got started, and what it was like breaking into the restaurant industry, especially for barbecue. Duce breaks down the nuances between working in the restaurants vs. the catering side of business, and offers some catering advice to brides. He shares some of the biggest lessons he’s learned in his years of business, from menu offerings to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course they discuss the best kind of barbecue—and Duce’s answer might surprise you!

Other in-flight topics:

  • The story behind Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
  • The best kind of barbecue
  • Breaking into the restaurant industry
  • Differences between restaurant work and catering
  • Catering advice for brides
  • Lessons learned from pandemic changes

Relevant Links: 

What's your favorite style of BBQ?